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Where to buy Squilla/ mantis shrimp/ shako

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I just discovered today that the name of one of my favorite foods from the first decade of my life is called squilla or mantis shrimp in English and shako in Japanese.

Where can I get this in SoCal? does it exist here? live ones? I'm guessing that I would have better luck in Louisiana right? so if I go to Louisiana to get this, what months of the year should I go?

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  1. I think your best bet would be to contact one of the fish wholesalers south of Little Tokyo.
    They generally do some retail sales, too. If anyone has it one of them should.

    1. Seafood Paradise in Rosemead has had them in the past. I havent seen them there for a while but I know they get them from time to time

      2 Replies
      1. re: carln

        Thank you Akitist and carln! I will research the fish wholesalers and track down seafood paradise's current stock!

        1. re: kerosundae

          I spoke with Vincent at Seafood Paradise about them yesterday and he said he has not had them for a while. He said that because the Chinese economy is doing better than the US economy, they are keeping them all in China and not exporting to the US right now. He said as soon as he can get them he will.

      2. i have caught them fishing off of marina del ray, they ;show up in numbers during el nino years.

        3 Replies
        1. re: triarts

          They have a nasty reputation. They have a very fast "strike." Deckhands called them "fingersplitters" and no one had anything good to say about them as a food source.

          1. re: triarts

            wow that's amazing! was this recent?

            1. re: triarts

              let me know when you catch one I will buy it off you... I don't live in a big city so it sucks as I don't get much variety in fish... contact me if your interested I don't want it too big though takes the fun out of raising it... pcbuddy13@yahoo.com

            2. I picked up some live mantis shrimp from the Ranch 99 on Valley in SGV this past weekend.

              Selling for $19.99/lb, each one came up to about $6, they were quite large up to ~10" in length and very colorful too with their bright yellow and blue appendages.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Sgee

                Here's the species 'Hemisquilla ensigera californiensis' and link to a picture.

                http://www.diverkevin.com/North-Ameri...

                1. re: Sgee

                  cool!!! I'm going there! THANK YOU!!

                  1. re: kerosundae

                    Unfortunately, too late. I was there this past weekend, they were all gone.

                    1. re: Sgee

                      I saw them at 99 Ranch last weekend. One live tank had at least 40-50 specimens. I just have too much respect for those buggers to mess with them, let alone eat them...

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Yumminess aside, these predatory undersea critters have by far the most amazing complex optic systems in the animal kingdom (its Wikipedia page does a pretty good job of explaining it). They can also sever a human pinkie in a split second in you aren't careful.

                        But yes, Houndishly speaking, shako are yummy.

              2. they had a tank of them at Seafood Paradise last week.

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                Seafood Paradise
                8602 Westminster Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683