Pescetarian Delights of NYC: Ika Sansai


While ice cream or a cold beer are more common antidotes to the summer’s oppressive humidity, a few forkfuls of chilled squid salad can provide more unlikely succor.

Such is the case with ika sansai, a seasoned squid salad commonly mixed with vegetables and served throughout Japan. According to both Wikipedia and this Chowhound post, the literal translation of “sansai” is mountain vegetables, meaning vegetables that grow in the wild and aren’t cultivated.

In the case of this version of ika sansai, which was purchased at Park Slope’s Blue Apron Foods, “mountain vegetables” translates to bamboo shoots, mushrooms, bracken ferns, and seaweed. Together with the ribbons of agreeably chewy squid, they’re flavored with sesame oil, soy sauce, and sweet white wine, scattered with sesame seeds, and seasoned with red pepper. The result is kind of hot, a little sweet, and weirdly refreshing. Although it’s not cheap at $14.95 a pound, a quarter-pound comes out to a more reasonable $3.74, and makes a solid snack or ambulatory appetizer.

Blue Apron Foods
814 Union Street, Brooklyn