Image Credit to: Michael Shum
Ika No Sugata Yaki is a flavoursome and straightforward recipe, which comprises of grilled whole squid with soy sauce or other sauces. Sugatayaki means grilled in a whole shape. It goes well with a glass of sake and is commonly available at summer festivals, street fairs, shrine festivals, pushcart vendors or Izakaya pubs all around Japan.
You can find it sold on sticks from the street vendors, or sliced into equal pieces and placed on a plate in restaurants or pubs. You can enjoy it as it is (grilled), or with Shoyu sauce and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. This dish can be a snack, a side dish or even a main dish when it is served with rice and salad.
The “Osaka” version of this dish is quite different as it is cooked using wheat flour. This specialty of Osaka is prepared by using diced squid covered in wheat flour and then topped with Okonomiyaki sauce. It’s cooked and pressed between two iron plates and once done, the squid ends up ends up looking like a Japanese style pancake.
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons of mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 1 tablespoon of red miso paste
- 1 tablespoon of cooking sake
- 2 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 pound of small squid (bodies and tentacles), cleaned
- Prepare the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, ginger, miso paste, sake, fish sauce, sesame oil and mirin in a large bowl.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce for the marinade and set aside for later.
- Marinade the squid with the sauce thoroughly.
- Leave the squid to marinade in the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes and turn it around once to make sure both sides are evenly marinated.
- Preheat a barbeque grill.
- Pick up the squid from the sauce and grill it for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Flip the squid every 30 seconds and brush the sauce on it adequately.
- The dish is ready when the squid turns white and soft, releasing a nice aroma.
- Lay out the squid over a platter and slice them into equal pieces.
- Serve the dish immediately to get the best taste and texture of it.