Shiokara, salty and pungent
fermented fish paste

Shiokara (塩辛) is a food in Japanese cuisine made from various marine animals that consists of small pieces of the animal's 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 quite strong and is considered something of an acquired taste even for the native Japanese palate. The taste of shiokara lingers in the mouth. 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.

Ika no shiokara — from cuttlefish "squid",
The most common variety
Hotaruika no shiokara — from firefly squid
Katsuo no shiokara — from skipjack tuna
Kaki no shiokara — from oyster
Uni no shiokara — from sea urchin roe
Ami no shiokara — from shrimp

Some shiokara types have special names:

Ganzuke (がん漬, Ganzuke) — from fiddler crab
Saga prefecture

Konowata (このわた, 海鼠腸, Konowata) — from sea cucumber

Ishikawa prefecture

Mefun (めふん, Mefun) — from chum salmon (shake)

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

fermented fish paste, sometimes yuzu citron is added.


Shiokara refers to the salted and fermented flesh, internal organs, eggs and the like of sea animals. The most popular shiokara in Japan is from squid. People eat it as a side dish and snacks to go with alcoholic beverages, but some people do not like it at all. "Konowata," considered to be one of the top three delicacies in Japan, is made with the intestines of sea cucumbers.

source :  www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp


Shiokara is made from squid or the guts of skipjack and other species. The internal organs of the squid are mixed with 10 percent salt and 30 percent malted rice. This mixture is bottled in an airtight container and kept for a month for fermentation.

This salty and viscous seafood is eaten as a pickle in Japan. In Japan Shio means salty and Shiokara means the color of the abdomen. Shiokara is made from a wide variety of fishes. In other words, Japanese Shiokara is of many types, like Ika no shiokara - from cuttlefish “squid” , Hotaruika no shiokara - from firefly squid ,Katsuo no shiokara - from bonito ,Kaki no shiokara - from oyster ,Konowata no shiokara - from curryfish (a sea cucumber) ,Uni no shiokara - from sea urchin roe and Ami no shiokara - from shrimp .
source :  www.foodmall.org


How to make

Shiokara is very simple to make.

Invariably on menus, product labels, "weird foods" websites and on "Fear Factor" it's described as "fermented squid with the guts". I'll have to admit that it's an accurate name, but not very marketing-friendly nor indicative of the wonderful taste that one should expect. I'd rather think of it as prepared squid with it's liver.

And guts? Well I don't know what's what in squid anatomy, but my guess is that by looks and taste that most of the "guts" of the squid by volume comes from this one huge sac-like structure that I'm guessing is the liver. Surely that's what it tastes like to me, and liver is the predominant taste in the shiokara.

Here's how my Mom taught me to make it. It's very simple.

Just take a fresh whole squid, available locally at Mitsuwa or Nijiya, and carefully remove the head. Pull out the ?quill?, a plastic-like structure that runs the length of the squid. Also remove the beak where the legs come together.

Carefully without bursting it remove the aforementioned sac-like structure, which I assume is the liver. Now remove the skin-like outer membrane that covers the entire outside of the squid. This part can be a little tricky and time-consuming. I'll often do this under running water and use my fingernails to start a small tear in the membrane and then with my fingers try to peel a larger section off. I've heard that the trick is to start at the tip of the head end and peel down, but your mileage may vary!

Cut up the now skinned flesh into short noodle-like sections, including the tentacles. To this squeeze the contents of the removed sac, and to which I add sea salt, some shichimi togarashi /or red pepper of your choice, and citrus zest. (Yuzu would be great if you can find it, but lemon works quite well...)

Mix it up and keep refrigerated in a sealed container. It improves in taste after a stint in the refrigerator.
source :  chowhound.chow.com


kigo for all summer

Kani bishio, kanibshio 蟹醢 かにびしお
crabs in soy sauce

kanibishiko 蟹胥(かにびしこ)
crabs in soy sauce, kanibishio蟹醤(かにびしお)
pickled crabs, kanizuke 蟹漬(かにづけ)
A kind of shiokara 塩辛 pickles.

shiokara natto 塩辛納豆(しおからなっとう)
kigo for late summer


kigo for all autumn

CLICK for more photos

. "shiokara tonbo" 塩辛蜻蛉(しおからとんぼ)dragonfly  
Orthetrum albistylum speciosum

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Salt, Salz (shio) and haiku  


shiokara o nosete daikon hotobashiri

big radish
and some shiokara on top ...
great passion

shiokara to oroshi daikon Echi no fuyu

shiokara and
grated big radish ...
winter in Echigo

Echi no fuyu shiokare mare ni katarisake

Winter in Echigo
shiokara and
smalltalk with sake

source : ぐるーとグルメ俳句  
Tr. Gabi Greve

The winter in Echigo is especially severe with a lot of snow.

Related words

Squid, cuttlefish dishes (ika ryoori イカ料理, 烏賊料理)   

Uni 海胆 (うに) sea urchin and sea urchin roe (uni 雲丹)

SALT 塩 shio
. WKD : moshio, mojio 藻塩 Salt with seaweed .




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