Firefly Squid (Hotaru Ika)

Hotaru Ika

There are many foods which tells us “Spring has come!”
Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) is one of them.  We can see it at market from the end of March to June.  Now it is mid of May, so its season will end soon…..

Hotaru Ika is very tiny squid.  It’s about 6 to 8 cm long.  I don’t know if people in the world eat it other than Japan, but according to Wikipedia, about 40 kinds of Hotaru Ika is living in the world.

It is easy to rot and it has parasite, so it is sold as boiled form.
We eat it with the sauce called Sumiso which is vinegar(“su” in Japanese) and miso.  You can see yellow sauce in above photo.  It’s the “sumiso”.
It is very small squid.  It’s 4 or 5 cm long.  We eat it as it is.  I mean we don’t cut and we eat not only meat but also internal organs.  It is said that internal organs have a lot of vitamin A and amino acid.  It means Hotaru Ika is good for health and delicious.

I bought it at super market and didn’t cook.
Umm, this is a blog introducing recipes….  OK, I will introduce one recipe.
I sometimes cook it as peperoncino past or boil in olive oil with garlic and red pepper (Spanish style).

Enjoy meal!



  1. Sushi Aoki Shanghai | Pantry No. 7Pantry No. 7 - June 5, 2015

    […] Hotaru ika (firefly squid), braised pumpkin fish ball.  In season from March to June, Hotaru ika is a small, super tender little squid that is typically boiled and served with Sumiso, a yellowish sauce that often includes miso, sake, mirin, vinegar, and sugar.  This was served with a warm pumpkin mochi ball with a fish filling, floating in a mild sauce.  Following this, we were served a small pickle handroll.  The salty flavor and crunchy texture were a nice contrast from the soft, sweeter flavors of the first dish. […]

  2. Yamakase | Pantry No. 7Pantry No. 7 - July 25, 2015

    […] Firefly squid (hotaru ika), baby ice fish steamed wrapped in shiso, uni. The hotaru ika is a seasonal spring dish served in […]