Karasumi/Botarga/Boutargue Season in Shizuoka!

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(Courtesy of Shizuoka Shimbun Daily)

Karasumi, known as “boutargue” in French, or as “botarga” in Italian, is the natrally dried/preserved roe pouches of the mullet.
It is quite an expensive morsel in Japanese cuisine as well as in Europe (that is, the real one!).

Numazu City, one of the main fishing harbors in Shizuoka Prefecture, is quite renown for its karasumi.
The season for catching bora/鯔, or mullet in English, has begun and fishermen have just started drying their roe pouches/karasumi/カラスミ under the Autumn sun in this comparatively rainless time of the year.
It is grim and painstaking businees as the the roe pouches have to be carefully cleaned, got rid of any blood vesels, and sprinkled with the right quantity of salt.

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They will be served thinly cut as they are in Japanese restaurants, or used in Italian and French restaurants, especially with pasta.

This yearly catch is slowly dwindling due to high demand, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!

Note: beware of imported specimens, especially from “Asia”!

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4 thoughts on “Karasumi/Botarga/Boutargue Season in Shizuoka!”

  1. Hi,
    How much is the kilo of karasumi in Japan and Taiwan? i am talking about good quality of course.
    In France, poutargue from martigues goes at 110 euros a kilo.
    Would be interesting to compare.
    Cheers
    P

    Like

  2. Did not know Japan also has this. This is a famous food in Taiwan. Starting November or December, depending on the weather. lots of mullets come to Taiwan. At that time, we eat mullet stew and my father would stock up lots pressed salted mullet roe(烏魚子) to enjoy with his sake. Lots of Japanese love to buy this from Taiwan. The roe from wild mullets is most appreciated by gourmets.

    Like

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