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Ika no shiokara
Ika-no Shiokara, Hakodate

Shiokara (塩辛) is a food in Japanese cuisine made from various marine animals that consists of small pieces of meat in a brown viscous paste of the animal's heavily salted, fermented viscera. The raw viscera are mixed with about 10% salt, 30% malted rice, packed in a closed container, and fermented for up to a month. Shiokara is sold in glass or plastic containers.

The flavor is similar in saltiness and fishiness to that of European cured anchovies, but with a different texture. One of the best-known chinmi ("rare tastes"), it is quite strong and is considered something of an acquired taste even for the native Japanese palate. One method of enjoying it is to consume the serving at one gulp and to follow it with a shot of straight whisky. Some bars in Japan specialize in shiokara.

Some types of shiokara[edit]

Ika no shiokara with chopsticks

Some shiokara types have special names:

See also[edit]