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Azure Boone

Shirako? What does it taste like and feel like?

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Azure Boone

Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere, didn't have time to scroll.

I'm doing research for my story and need to know what RAW Shirako tastes and feels like when you chew it. Eeesh.

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roddy

Moving. You realise this is "chinese-forums.com", no?

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Azure Boone

yes, i do, but I read that Shirako is an Asian food, not just Chinese?

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Azure Boone

Sorry, not just Japanese, I meant to say.

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Moving_away

I have to admit that I had to look up what Shirako is. For what it's worth, I did eat it before, but only in salted and smoked version. In the Netherlands we have 'bokking', which is basically smoked herring. When you buy it at a good fish-shop you can ask for one with 'hom' (milt, or shirako). Most people don't bother (throw it away anyway) or prefer the roe and don't ask for it. I for one do ALWAYS ask for it (I'm already looking forward to my visit back home soon and one of the reasons is that I can finally have my Dutch-style fish again).

Anyway, after this probably uninteresting lesson in Dutch culture, language and my tastes, the taste and structure: It first and foremost is pretty salty (although I don't know whether that is because the fish itself is salted too). The taste is difficult to describe because it mixes with the smoked taste and the overall taste of the fish. The structure is very different from roe, very smooth, pasty and homogeneous, with a membrane outside that doesn't 'pop' when you bite trough it but you do feel it breaks (sound more disgusting than it is). It is not runny so it runs out of the membrane, but is soft enough to be squeezed with the tongue.

Hope that helps a little bit, although I could imagine the Japanese preparation could give a different experience and taste, plus that it is only smoked milt that I know of, not raw, as you asked about.

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Azure Boone

Ugh, sorry, was reading this first thing this morning and after the other versions of taste description I've had, I still squirmed. There does seem to be a difference in the descriptions of the raw version and the slightly cooked or fried. But you did a fine job explaining your version, so, I appreciate that, it all helps.

I doubt I'll have many readers going, "that's not what it tastes like!" seeing as not many people have had it in the raw form.

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abcdefg

I've eaten raw, live sea urchin gonads in Dalian (China.) Sushi Chef cuts the cold live sea urchin open with a sharp knife and you delicately spoon out the quivering gonads while the external spines of the animal are still slowly moving. You hold the thing with a heavy folded napkin so as not to get spines stuck in your palm.

Usually served with a squeeze of lemon or dab of wasabi. Consistency is sort of buttery; taste can be slightly nutty and almost bitter. Either love it or hate it. Not for the faint of heart.

I had them in late Autumn; I think they are seasonal. Damned things are expensive to boot. Nasty plus costly is not a winning combination in my book. Glad someone else was paying the bill.

Liked them a little better before I really understood what they were. The idea is not appealing. Best if accompanied by a liberal amount of some strong alcoholic beverage.

http://en.wikipedia...._urchin#As_food

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creamyhorror
yes, i do, but I read that Shirako is an Asian food, not just Japanese?

If it's a Japanese food then it's an Asian food, but if it's an Asian food it isn't necessarily a Chinese food. Casa marzu is a Western food, do Americans know how it tastes or feels like?

I don't think it's commonly eaten in China, or part of any major Chinese cuisine. Try a Japan/Japanese forum.

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xiaocai

I had no idea what it is until I saw this post and looked up. I think you will have a better chance asking in a Japanese food forum. It takes more than just "having had it". I'd assume that the person also needs to know how to describe it properly in English with analogies to food you are more familiar with. It is hard for me to explain how 皮蛋 tastes like in English.

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Azure Boone

I wished I could find a Japanese forum!

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smurese

If you haven't already done so, I did a little Youtube research for you on these curious fish testicular gonads:

The "feel" of shirako....?

[

]

That guy said the "feeling of puncturing the bladder of sperm" was worse than the taste.

[

]

The guy here said "it exploded in my mouth".

The taste?

[

]

This Japanese cook writes in the description: "It tastes creamy seafood".

[

]

Reflecting the same sentiment, this guy says "It's creamy".

[

]

Even the ladies agree: "It's like a cream".

Does it depend on your expectation and various previous experiences? ... The chef in the next video says "It's a little salty, which I guess is normal for that sort of thing..." [

]

Hmmm..... exploding... cream... As I watched their teeth munch down on those wrinkly morsels, I experienced the opposite of creaming... or exploding in my pants... Makes me shudder with unease!

P.S. Even when not raw, but cooked using Western methods, the following famous gastronome concurs: "The cod sperm... creamy and yummy." [

] Hmmm.... creamy and yummy.... doesn't look like anyone would disagree with that!
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Azure Boone

Thank you abcdefg!

And thank you smurese, I did do a research on Google and youtube, I'm surprised I didn't think of that! I usually search everything on there! THANK YOU!

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