Shiokara Report: Enjoying Homemade Squid Shiokara

Shiokara Report: Enjoying Homemade Chinmi Squid Shiokara いかの塩辛

Shiokara Report: Enjoying Homemade Chinmi Squid Shiokara いかの塩辛
Shiokara is a favorite of Miwa and she made some recently and it is ready for eating. Shiokawa is made of salted squid semi-fermented in its own guts and is a kind of chinmi, literally ‘rare taste’. Japanese like shiokara on rice or with sake.


Miwa, with some help from Kichisen, made her first shiokara. It came out very well, she reports. Here are a few photos of it served. (I took some photos of her happy face eating the shiokawa on rice, but she absolutely would not allow me to put them up on this article.

Miwa says the following about shiokara:
Shiokara on shinmai, new rice, like in the photos on this article, is a simple meal but the most luxurious meal to Japanese. Yum, yum, yum!

Even though we thought that it would be too salty, the taste definitely got more and more mild over the passing days and it is very nice now. The progression of the taste with time is something I like very much. I think Mr Tanigawa’s tip of adding high quality kelp helps a lot.

Shiokara lasts just a few weeks but you can freeze it too.

I have not tried this, but heard that you can eat on pasta too, as sauce. I am going to try this soon.

Paku says:
Please pass the karasumi.

Be sure to check out our shiokara series:
How to Clean Squid
How to Make Shiokara
How to Eat Shiokara (this article)

Squid Shiokara Served
Shiokara Report: Enjoying Homemade Chinmi Squid Shiokara いかの塩辛
The dark strip on the top is kombu, of kelp. Kombu is naturally salty and softens and adds complexity to the flavor.

Squid Shiokara Served – detail
Shiokara Report: Enjoying Homemade Chinmi Squid Shiokara いかの塩辛

7 Responses to “Shiokara Report: Enjoying Homemade Squid Shiokara”

  1. diva says:

    oh! this definitely definitely looks very luxurious. how i wish i could try it. i’m sure it must taste pretty exotic. lovely photos.

  2. Looks sooo good. It looks like the color changed more to a normal shiokara color with age. I have shiokara with pasta all the time. If you try making it, try adding some finely shredded aojiso, it compliments it nicely.

  3. Oh and for a little color contrast and to be a little more zeitaku, I top it off with a dollop of ikura.

  4. Jan says:

    I have a question: where would I get shiokara from in Japan? It looks intriguing and I like most smelly foods so I really want to try it next time I go.

  5. PakuPaku says:

    Hello Marc. Thank you for your advice! Shiokara pasta with ikura and shiso sound really good to me! The color combination will be beautiful!

    Hi Jan, good that you like smelly food! You would definately love shiokara, then! You can buy shiokara at any supermarket, but I recommend you to go to shiokara specialty shop in any department store food court for real shiokara.

  6. Jan says:

    Hi Paku,

    Thanks for replying. What does shiokara taste of? On my trips to Japan I’ve never been able to find a supermarket where I can browse Japanese groceries (I like going through supermarket aisles…) but have visited countless food basements and combinis. So they sell shiokara in department store food basements? I’m excited, I want to find some.

  7. chieko says:


    My mother is from Kobe/Osaka area. I was born near Tokyo. We moved to the States (she married an American). She used to make shiokara all the time. I make it, too and it is sooooo GOOD! Some of my friends have tried it though they were squeamish at first, they liked it it with the rice since it cancels out some of the saltiness. I think I need to go make some right now!! Just called my local store and he’s got more squid on order 🙂

    Thanks for kyotofoodie!!

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