All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Ika no nitsuke / calamari in reduced soy sauce broth

A standard calamari dish, made a little lighter.

Big handful calamari
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp mirin and sake in combination (1 tbsp mirin and 1/2 tbsp sake)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 knob ginger


Clean calamari and slice into 2-3 cm wide rings. Tentacles as is.


In a pot, put soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, and calamari, and cook on medium to medium high heat.

When calamari turns opaque (takes only a few minutes), immediately remove from pot and set aside.


Boil down liquid.


When the liquid is reduced almost to the bottom of pan, return calamari to pot, and stir well.

Continue cooking for a few minutes, until liquid is reduced further and coats calamari well.

Serve with grated ginger.

  • Calamari is removed from the pot in Process 3 to prevent it from becoming tough.
  • To save leftovers, keep calamari and liquid in separate containers. Put them together again when heating up.
  • Nitsuske is a method of cooking ingredients (commonly seafood) in a small amount of liquid consisting of water, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar in combination, where the liquid is reduced until almost gone. Quality of ingredients is the key. Frozen/thawed calamari, probably from California, in good condition is available at some supermarkets. If frozen ones are preferred, ask for solid frozen calamari from the shop's freezer, as once thawed calamari does not keep well. 

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