Noshiika (Fattened Dried Squid) (のしいか)

Noshiika (伸し烏賊 or 熨斗烏賊) is a food made from dried squid. It is often served as a snack with alcohol.

Some say that its name originates from how it is made, i.e. being stretched out very thinly (伸し, which is pronounced 'noshi', is a Japanese word derived from the verb 'nosu', which means to roll something flat). As it can also be written as 熨斗烏賊, however, others say the name comes from its resemblance to 熨斗 (pronounced 'noshi', this Japanese word is used to describe a thin strip of dried abalone wrapped in folded red and white paper). Given that it is also used as a virtual synonym for surume (dried cuttlefish), noshiika only refers to squid that has not undergone the shredding-process.

In demonstration sales at a street stalls, dried squid are heated until they become soft, and they are rolled out thinly between a pair of steel rollers. This method produces an amazingly long piece of noshiika from a single piece of dried squid.

Additionally, a variety of cheap confectionary sold under the name 'noshiika' is often made from the ground and thinly rolled out meat of whitefish such as cod.

Noshiika' sold as a delicacy include a variety which is not only dried but further seasoned sweet. This type of 'noshiika' is unquestionably made from squid and is often sold as a Hokkaido specialty, but in reality appears to be produced in various parts of Japan.

[Original Japanese]