Squid

ikasashi

Aomori has great fishing grounds for squid on the northern seas. Though squid fishing is prevalent across the prefecture, the port of Hachinohe boasts the largest squid production in the country.

Squid is a very popular food in Aomori, as Aomori city ranks top in squid consumption per household in Japan. It is a highly versatile ingredient that can be eaten boiled in nimono, grilled, fried, or processed into dried or salted squid. Fresh squid sashimi, or “ika sashi,” dipped in ginger soy sauce is particularly tasty.
“Hirosaki iga menchi” is a delicious country-style dish, in which chopped squid tentacles, cabbage, and carrots are mixed with flour and fried in oil.

Ika-zushi

Ika-zushi

A local specialty in the Shimokita Peninsula, Ika-zushi uses a whole squid that is boiled then pickled in vinegar, stuffed with pickled vegetables and squid tentacles. It differs from the Ika-meshi of Hokkaido in that it does not use sushi rice.
While the Tsugaru Strait is a prominent fishing ground for tuna, it is also a major squid fishing area. The impressive view of numerous squid boats with luring lights out in the ocean has become a traditional summer scene in the Tsugaru Strait.

Types of Squid Found in Aomori

Japanese Common Squid

Japanese Common Squid

The Hachinohe coast is a great fishing ground for the Japanese common squid, and squid fishing boats gather from all over Japan from summer to fall. The port of Hachinohe is one of the largest in the nation equipped with fishery processing plants and refrigerated storage facilities. The Japanese common squid is also known as summer squid, for fishing peaks between July and December. Though squid is mostly fished at night using luring lights, squid caught during the day can be sorted and shipped to major metropolitan areas on the very day, ensuring freshness and quality.
Squid has high protein and low fat content. It also contains taurine, a substance known for lowering cholesterol levels and stabilizing blood pressure. Great as sashimi, it is also delicious grilled, boiled, or fried.

Harvest Months (Japanese Common Squid)

in season distribution period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Spear Squid

Spear Squid

Spear squid is considered to be the winter squid, as the Japanese common squid is the summer squid. Fishing of spear squid takes place between October and May on the Sea of Japan when the ocean is rough and bitter cold.
Spear squid has a more tender flesh than Japanese common squid, with a springy texture and potent sweetness. Even the fin lobes and tentacles are delicious, and it is great as sashimi, nitsuke, or tempura.

Harvest Months (Spear Squid)

in season distribution period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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