The shell is about 10cm. The edible portion is the purple-black leg which resembles a bird beak. (Torigai, lit. bird shell–though another theory states it received its name because it takes like chicken.)
Attractive ink color indicates greater freshness. Thick bodies are most flavorful, and taste is better in spring. Some say Toragai is the most flavorful of all shellfish.
Shown here atop a ball of vinegared rice–as in all nigiri–, Torigai can go toe-to-toe against any sushi ingredient.
[The Sushi Menu Book]