Squid Sushi [Ika]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:



In Japan, squid nigiri sushi is a popular and beloved delicacy. Nigiri sushi is a traditional style of sushi where a small mound of vinegared sushi rice is topped with a slice of fresh seafood. Squid, known as “ika” in Japanese, is one of the key ingredients used in creating this exquisite dish.

Squid nigiri sushi offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The squid’s mild and slightly sweet taste pairs perfectly with the tangy sushi rice, creating a harmonious balance on the palate. Its tender yet firm texture adds a pleasing chewiness that sushi enthusiasts appreciate.

When served, squid nigiri sushi is typically enjoyed by dipping the squid side into soy sauce. Its light and refreshing profile make it an ideal choice for sushi enthusiasts looking to savor the ocean’s bounty in a delightful and artful presentation.

At high-end sushi restaurants, premium varieties of squid such as “kouika” (cuttlefish) and “aori-ika” (bigfin reef squid) take center stage. These sought-after squids are valued for their exceptional flavors and delicate textures, making them ideal choices for nigiri sushi.

Kou-ika is highly regarded for its thick and delicious flesh. The premium sushi topping “Shin-ika” refers to the young cuttlefish, and it is a limited-time delicacy available in early summer. Meanwhile, aori-ika’s tender and delicate texture, often described as “bouncy” or “springy,” makes it a favorite among discerning sushi connoisseurs.

On the other hand, at conveyor belt sushi (kaiten-zushi) restaurants, “surume-ika” (Japanese flying squid) is the prevailing choice for nigiri sushi. Surume-ika is more widely available and is a versatile squid variety commonly found in these establishments. In conveyor belt sushi restaurants, you may find the term “Maika,” which refers to the most popular squid caught in that region. In many cases, it specifically indicates “surume-ika” (Japanese flying squid), the squid most commonly used as the main topping.

Regardless of the setting, squid nigiri sushi delivers a unique and enjoyable culinary adventure. Each type of squid contributes its distinctive taste and texture, showcasing the artistry and expertise of sushi chefs in harmonizing the flavors of the sea with the vinegared sushi rice. Whether it’s at an upscale sushi restaurant or a conveyor belt sushi joint, squid nigiri sushi continues to be a beloved and cherished delicacy that captivates the hearts and palates of sushi enthusiasts across Japan.

Ingredients for This Dish

Squid [Ika]
White Rice
Pure Rice Vinegar [Junmai-su]
Soy Sauce [Shoyu]