The photos don’t always reveal the truth about the taste but that was particularly delicious today. That’s a simmered seafood dish a little unusual. I have used calamari in two states, fresh and as shiokarai.
Well how can I explain all the poetry of shiokarai seafood on a blog ? You should see it, smell it, try it. It has a very strong fermented iodine flavor. I am not sure most people would like it.
イカの塩辛ika no shiokarai is the complete name, often shortenened in ikashiokara too. “shiokarai” calamari. Shiokarai means salty, very salty, too salty. So it’s raw calamari, salted and fermented in its brine with its ink. Here is an example of how it is made (click). I buy it if possible, because I tend to fail when I make it… and it’s cheap and sold everywhere in Osaka. Someday we’ll even have vending machines.
The only problem of this food is it’s extremely salty, so you eat it in very small amount, a teaspoon maximum on the side of your meal or on your bowl of rice. That’s why I wanted to add more volume to it.
A fresh calamar that has released its ink. No problem, I didn’t need it. I simply cleaned and cut it.
First, I cooked in a little oil, onion, garlic, ginger, the calamari. Then I’ve added 1 tbs of ikashiokara and 2 glasses of white wine (rather sweet, otherwise a little sugar would be welcome).Let simmer and reduce. Added more fresh ginger after 30 minutes.
It’s ready when the calamari is tender (that takes about 40 minutes). The red color comes naturally.
Small aubergines, steamed then grilled. No seasoning is needed because they are excellent just grilled and the dish is still very salty.
A side of kuri gohan (chestnut rice).
Kikuna chrysanthemum greens and shikwasa island lime to refresh the plate.