The best thing about growing up overseas was definitely the food. I really think that is where my passion stems from. My brother is the same. Whenever we get together, it seems like the conversation always revolves around food. What we’ve been cooking, what we’ve discovered, and places we want to go so we can taste the local flavours.
Our three years in Japan was a pretty exciting time for us. It was like living in the land of Novelty. Cute stationery, kawaii knick-knacks, and the awesome street festivals that were on each year. We used to love the festivals. There were lots of games to play like catching goldfish with wafer cups, and pull the string to win a random prize, but best of all, was the food.
It seems like all my favourites stem from these times. Takoyaki – the delicious little octopus balls, Yakitori – bbq chicken on a stick, and Ika yaki – bbq squid – also often served whole on a stick.
I really wanted to bring a sense of the fun and flavour to my own kids, so I came up with this recipe. If we are eating dinner inside as a “proper” meal, I slice it into rings after cooking, and serve it on a bed of rice with some stirfried greens, but some nights, we eat it off sticks, straight from the bbq grill, along with some toasty yaki onigiri (bbq rice cakes).
I know a lot of people aren’t familiar with using whole squid, so I’ve prepared a video for you here, showing you how to clean and prepare them. I only make this when I can buy the fresh whole squid, rather than using the squid tubes as they taste is incomparable.
Ika yaki - Japanese BBQ Squid
- 750 g squid hoods cleaned
- 2 tsp ginger, fresh grated
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tsp Fish sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- Combine marinade ingredients and mix well.
- Add squid and turn to coat.
- Marinate for 1-2 hours
- BBQ on a preheated grill on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes each side.