Mullet Fish Roe
Mullet Fish are arriving to the warm waters of Southwest Taiwan. The winter migration has begun! They have left the Sea of Japan for the long journey home. Swimming past Korea and Mainland China, they arrive to spawn in the warm Taiwanese waters. These fish symbolize good economic fortune for the fisherman. The Mullet Fish run thick! Mullet travel in massive schools, and they leap, jump, and skip above the water. The fisherman put in long hours. There are no days off! The time is short and the race is on!
Mullet Fish are highly prized in Taiwan. The flesh, roe, and stomach are all used. This is almost like a yearly Gold Rush, as one fish can bring up to NT$500. This is approximately USD $17.00. This is a major fishing season. Long days and little rest brings dollars to the area.
Freshly pressed Mullet Roe is often served with garlic and scallions. It is quite often paired with a Taiwanese beer. This is Taiwanese gourmet at its best. The fresh mullet roe can be seen drying in the open air in the nearby villages. The roe is deveined, much like a shrimp. Then it is laid out, salted, pressed and dehydrated. It is checked frequently and progressively salted and pressed. This is repeated until it is the desired firmness. When the desired texture is achieved, it is removed and ready to serve. Welcome to the world of the Taiwanese gourmet.
Have you ever had Bottarga in Italy? If you’ve dined in Italy, you might be familiar with Bottarga. Bottarga is an Italian gourmet dish which is prized in Italy. Bottarga is salt cured, sun-dried roe that is grated to top pasta. This is often exorbitantly priced at about 80.00 a pound.
If you have ever visited a Japanese Restaurant, I am sure you have seen Karasumi on the menu when in season. In Japan, it’s prepared the same way as in Taiwan and Italy. In Japan it is either grated or sliced as a perfect sake pairing. An order of this in Japan can cost up to $300!
Harvesting the Mullet Roe is incredibly lucrative and is a village affair. It is one of the most desirable fish products the world over. Because of it’s high value, Mullet Roe, whether wild, cultivated or imported, will always represent desire for a lucrative economic future. Mullet Fish Roe is a symbol of prosperity in Taiwan.
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