One unusual type of sushi consists of flying fish eggs. Flying fish hail from tropical and warm sub-tropical seas and I think they look pretty cool, though I’ve yet to see one myself. These magical-looking fish are caught when they are lured out of the water by torchlight, on nights without moonlight. Flying fish and eggs are popular in Japanese, Vietnamese, Tao-Taiwanese cooking. Fish eggs in general are thought to be very beneficial to one’s health, containing vitamins A, D, K2, Zinc, iodine, and DHA.
Tobiko is known as the Japanese flying fish and its eggs are commonly harvested for the majority of flying fish sushi. When the eggs are taken from a fish, the casings are removed and salted for several hours. Golden in color, after being clumped together their hue becomes more of a bright orange. While visiting a friend in Northern California, we stopped at a popular sushi restaurant for a late-night bite to eat. Perusing the menu for something different, I spotted the flying fish egg sushi roll and decided to give it a try.
As I chewed on a roll, the slippery, watery eggs popped in my mouth. They really didn’t taste like much – neither delicious nor offensive, but the experience was pretty weird. The texture did gross me out but I would definitely be up for trying them again as I really, really love sushi!
Harrison’s Commentary: My first encounter with flying fish egg sushi was quite an experience. As I gazed upon the menu, I noticed a picture of a flying fish. Being someone who has never had flying fish eggs, my sense of adventure took over as I ordered a couple pieces. As the waiter brought a small plate of sushi pieces topped with strange red globes carrying a pungent, fishy aroma, my stomach turned. As I cradled it in my chopsticks, dabbed it in soy sauce and wasabi, then drew it nearer to my mouth, my discomfort subsided. Hey, I’ve had plenty of fish eggs before and this is no different. At first bite, I nearly spit it out. My face became pale as a ghost as my guest (who refused to try it) began laughing hysterically at me. The fishiness was so overwhelming, it left a burn on my tongue. As I continued analyzing the flavor, I began realizing it wasn’t so bad. I took another taste and began to love it. As someone who loves fishy tastes, this was right up my alley. That first bite on the other hand, was a bit much since my Western palate wasn’t used to such a powerful fish flavor.