Other Seafood

Squid [Ika]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:



In Japanese cuisine, “ika”, which translates to squid in English, is a widely consumed and versatile seafood. In Japan, squid is immensely popular, and its cooking methods offer a rich variety compared to other countries.

In Japan, there are approximately 140 species of squid caught, but here, we will introduce some of the representative ones commonly consumed as food.

Squid Sushi [Ika]
Squid Sushi [Ika]

Representative Types of Japanese Squid

Kou-ika (Cuttlefish)


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. With its subtle sweetness that gently spreads across the palate, it is truly a supreme and exquisite addition to any sushi platter.

Aori-ika (Bigfin Reef Squid)


Aori-ika is also synonymous with premium sushi toppings. Aori-ika has a tender and delicate texture, often likened to “bouncy” or “springy.” Its peak season is during the spring and summer months, from April to August. It is commonly enjoyed as sashimi or grilled.

Surume-ika (Japanese Flying Squid)


This variety is the most commonly eaten squid in Japan and is available year-round. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor, making it suitable for various preparations, including sashimi, sushi, tempura, and grilled dishes.

Yari-ika (Spear Squid)


Yari-ika has a long, slender body, and its peak season is from late autumn to early spring, particularly from October to March. It has a firm texture and a slightly stronger flavor compared to other squid varieties. Yari-ika is often used in sashimi, sushi, and hot pot dishes.

Squid is prepared in various ways in Japanese cuisine, each highlighting its unique characteristics. Whether served raw as sashimi, grilled over an open flame, or included in hot pot dishes, ika adds depth and diversity to the flavors found in Japanese meals.