Japan is the land of tantalising seafood. Sushi is great, sashimi is delicious, but fish eggs are the real treat.
If you can get past the shock and awe of the looks, you will never go back to your non-fish egg eating ways.
A traditional New Year’s food, Kazunoko are deliciously salty, a little firm and crunchy, and have a mild seafood taste.
Usually eaten alone or with rice, this is a traditional New Year dish.
Although most Japanese would think it sacrilegious, my personal favourite way to eat these is as follows: A sandwich. Yes, that is correct. A sandwich. Toast some thin white bread, mix some mayonnaise, wasabi, and soy sauce together, spread it on both slices of bread, and sandwich the kazunoko in between. Heaven.
Salty, definitely seafood-ish, and soft textured.
Mentaiko is eaten in a lot of ways, starting from straight from the fridge as a topping for sticky rice, to mixed in with creamy pasta sauce, this versatile food is a great protein-filled pick me up. You can find them on sale in regular supermarkets, upscale department stores, and in restaurants galore!
Mentaiko come in a variety of flavours – salty, spicy, sweet… taste test and find out which one you love!
Personally, I love to eat them just as they are, with delicious sake to wash them down. For a more diluted taste, eat them with a mouthful of sticky rice, or mix them into a Japanese omelette. You’re welcome.
These eggs have an amazing texture. You can feel each individual egg on your tongue, but they are firm enough to require chewing to pop them open revealing the delicious juice within.
A staple in sushi restaurants, they are served on a small portion of rice, wrapped on the outside in seaweed to keep them from spilling out.
My personal favourite way to eat these is to heap them over freshly cooked sticky rice with a little soy sauce on top. The combination of hot rice and cold tobiko is so addictive.
The king of the fish eggs. Large, firm, and filled with flavour, Ikura is a delicacy you don’t want to miss. Another sushi restaurant staple, served like the tobiko above, they are much larger than other fish eggs and can be squeezed open just by pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
My favourite way to eat them? Luxuriously – by the spoonful straight from the package with a little soy sauce and wasabi poured on top. Heaven.
Live on the edge, and enjoy the sea eggs while you can!