Chinmi Fish Roe


Delicacy (chinmi) and Fish Roe

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


a delicacy; a gourmet delight
rare and unusual food, luxury food

Worldwide the best chinmi are caviar, truffles and foie gras.
The three best-known chinmi in Japan are

pickled sea urchin roe (uni),
pickled mullet roe (karasumi) and
pickled sea cucumber guts (konowata).

Tenka no sandai chinmi 天下の三大珍味

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konowata このわた(海鼠腸)
salted entrails of the sea cucumber

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karasumi からすみ dried mullet roe
Meeräscherogen, getrocknet
This is a speicality of Nagasaki, when the bora is fished in late autumn. It is prepared by hand in the winter months, taking two months to dry in the cold wind. The slightly salty taste had been liked very much in the Edo period. When the governor of Nagasaki brought some of this preparation as a gift to Hideyoshi, he asked about the name. The governor could not tell, since the stuff had just been introduced from China to Nagasaki, so he made up the name, meaning "ink stone from China", taken from the form of Chinese ink.

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uni うに .. 海栗 ("chestnut of the sea")
Uni 海胆 (うに) sea urchin and sea urchin roe (uni 雲丹)


konowata 海鼠腸(このわた)
most fames from Mikawa, Aichi prefecture.
They are taken from three kinds of sea cucumbers, the green, red and black one.
The fisherman's wife takes a razor, opens the side carefully and separates the body from the entrails, which are washed carefully. They are quite long and the contents are squeezed out.
The body of the sea cucumber is not thrown away, it can be grilled and eaten with sake too.

KO is the old name for namako, so this is the namako no wata.

gesalzene Eingeweide der Seegurke

. namako 海鼠 sea cucumber, sea slug .


Fish Roe Dishes

Most fish providing the roe are kigo.


buriko ブリコ, or burikko ぶりっこ the hard roe of the hatahata fish from Akita (not from buri, as the name says). Read why !

ikura  いくら 料理 salmon roe dishes, salmon caviar
hararago はららご
lit. "how many?"
barako "children in the stomach" ばらこ when processed in hot water before packaging.
"Kinder im Bauch",

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Lachsrogen, Lachs-Kaviar

harakomeshi はらこめし rice with salmon roe
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Reis mit Lachsrogen

ikura sushi いくら寿司 sushi
ikura gunkan maki いくら軍艦巻き sushi with nori wrapper
with a slice of cucumber
ikura kaiso maki いくら海苔巻き wrapped in seaweed
ikura sushi don いくら寿司丼
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ikura shooyuzuke いくら醤油漬け in soy sauce
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kamaboko ikura かまぼこいくら sandwiched in a kamaboko fish paste

oyakodon 親子丼 "parent and child"
shake to ikura no oyakodon 鮭といくらの親子丼
saamon to ikura no oyakodon サーモンとイクラの親子丼
Usually a name for chicken and eggs, here it is salmon and salmon roe.
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sujiko 鮭筋子 salted salmon roe


kazunoko 数の子 (かずのこ) herring roe,
herring caviar
lit. "great numbers of children"
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A typical dish (and kigo) for the New Year.

ajizuke kazunoko 味付数の子 with a special flavor
usually with soy sauce

kazunoko sanshoozuke 数の子山葵漬け with Japanese mountain pepper
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kazunoko shiozuke 数の子(塩漬け)in salt water
they need to be watered well before use.
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kazunoko shooyuzuke 数の子醤油漬け in soy sauce
with a shiso perilla leaf and some katsuobushi shavings.
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kazunoko sushi 数の子寿司 sushi
with a stripe of seaweed to hold it in place.
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kazunoko wasabi 数の子わさび with wasabi
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. Food of the New Year Season, O-Setchi Ryori .
(osetchi ryoori おせち料理, 御節料理 )


masago まさご capelin roe, smelt fish eggs
Masago caviar
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capelin or caplin, Mallotus villosus.
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masago sushi まさご寿司

This is a kind of hot sidedish with many types of fish. It is said to prevent stomach upset in the summer season.
. wasabizuke わさび漬け(山葵漬け pickled wasabi .   


mentaiko 明太子 marinated roe of pollock
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Mentaiko (明太子) is the marinated roe of pollock, and is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Mentaiko originated from myeongran jeot (명란젓) of Korean cuisine and was introduced to Japan after the Second World War. Kawahara Toshio, a Busan-born Japanese, adapted Korean mentaiko to Japanese tastes in Fukuoka in the 1950s. The name is derive from the Korean word for Alaska pollock (明太, mentai, 명태 : myeongtae in Korean) and the Japanese word for "egg" (子, ko).

The typical seasoning and flavor is slightly different in Japan.
Mentaiko is made in a variety of flavors and colors and is available at airports and main train stations. It is usually eaten with rice called Onigiri, but is also enjoyed by itself with sake. A common variety is spicy mentaiko (辛子明太子, karashi mentaiko).
It is a famous product of the Hakata ward of Fukuoka City. One of the original manufacturers, Fukuya based in Nakasu, is the largest producer of mentaiko. It has to compete with over 150 other producers in Japan because they decided not to take out a patent on the recipe.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. . . . karashi mentaiko 辛子明太子 with hot chily peppers
Alaska-Seelachsrogen, scharf

tarako 鱈子 (たらこ) salted roe of alaska pollock
tara means cod, but this is not from the cod. Often eaten for breafkast at the New Year. Makes a good filling in onigiri rice balls.
Lately a pasta sauce with nori seaweed is also popular among young people.
Alaska-Seelachsrogen, nicht Kabeljaurogen
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mamentaikoni 真鱈子煮 boiled
. . . . . amakarani 鱈子の甘辛煮 boiled sweet and hot

serori no tarako itame セロリの鱈子炒め fried with cellery

shio mentaiko 塩鱈子 with salt

the variety Theragra chalcogramma, suketoodara 介党鱈
suketodara, スケトウダラ He grows about 80 cm long. The ovaries are made into salted tarako and used in many local dises of Hokkaido. Fishermen catch the fish on longe lines one by one, bring them to the shore and soon they are cut open and the ovaries produced to preserve their freshness.
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Mentaiko keyholder like the three monkeys


Fukuoka and Mentaiko


tobiko とびこ flying fish roe
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Often used in California rolls for sushi.
The eggs are small, about0.5mm - 0.8mm. Tobiko is larger than capelin roe (masago), but smaller than salmon roe (ikura).
Plain tobiko has a red-orange color, a mild smoky/salty taste, and a crunchy texture.
Tobiko is sometimes mixed with wasabi to get a green color.
With the ink of squid it becomes black.
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Rogen von fliegendem Fisch


shirako 白子 fish eggs, fish roe
"white children"
general name for all kinds.
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buri no shirako ぶりの白子fish roe from yellowtail

fugu shirako 河豚白子 fish roe from pufferfish

tara no shirako タラの白子 fish roe from cod
in Hokkaido it is called TACHI タチ and added to the daily miso soup.
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The shirako from sukedara is called suketachi 助たち or
sukedachi 助だち / すけだち.
It is very cheap and can be eaten every day in Hokkaido during the winter season.
The shirako from madara is called madachi 真だち and is much more expensive.


Japanese LINK

Worldwide use

Fischrogen, Fischeier

Things found on the way

『安保屋』の塩数の子 厳選だるま
Salted Herring roe, strictly selected by DARUMA !

source :  www.anboya.com SHOP


honobono to hararagohan ni takikomare

how tenderly
the rice is cooked
with salmon roe

Oono Rinka 大野林火


hararago ni gankyo hazushite nasake nashi 

for the salmon roe
I have to take off my glases ...
what a shame

Furutara Sojin / Soojin 古館曹人 (1920 )


salmon roe
a hunter pats the belly
of his granddaughter

Stella Pierides
- shared in "Joys of Japan - Poetry"

Related words

Uni 海胆 (うに) sea urchin and sea urchin roe (uni 雲丹)

harako soba はらこそば【腹子蕎麦】
hot buckwheat noodle soup (kakesoba) with a load of ikura fish roe

***** bora ボラ striped mullet, black mullet, springer
Bora, an auspicious fish "making a career"


***** WASHOKU : Food Topics



Anonymous said...

hmmm: I just grilled a nice fat salmon, and inside I found a beautiful roe which I poached


cold november evening
grilled salmon
brings over my neighbor


Unknown said...


Come on SAKE!



Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

chinmi no hi 珍味の日 day of delicacies

On this day at the imperial court and Ise Shrine specialities from the mountains and the sea are offered.
goroawase. ii tsu mami 「い(1)い(1)つ(2)まみ(3)」

November 23

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

futtachi 脛立 /フッタチ / 経立 Futtachi, "old animal Yokai monster"
A Futtachi is an old grumpy animal turned Yokai. It can be a hen or a monkey, a fish or any other animal. Futtachi are common Yokai in Aomori and Iwate.
They appear in the 遠野物語 Tono Monogatari legends of Iwate.
futtachi - ein altes affen- und hundähnliches Ungeheuer.

In 安家村 Akka mura there is a legend about a Fish Futtachi.
Once upon a time, there came a beautiful young man to the home visiting the daughter, every night. The neighbours got suspicious and thought this must be a Futtachi. They advised the daughter to wash the feet of the man with water where soy beens had been boiled in.
She did as told and suddenly the young man felt unwell and hurried away. The next morning she went to the beach and found a dead tara タラ cod fish.