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.
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”!