“Karasumi” is one of the three major Japanese delicacies, along with “Uni (sea urchin)” and “Konowata (salted sea cucumber’s guts!).” It has been highly valued as an expensive “shuto(the food accompanies with alcoholic beverages)” since Edo era. “Karasumi” is made from sun-dried salted fish roe. The taste like a sort of sticky, salted cheese so you can imagine it is not quite like a popular food which everyone likes. Yes, it has a strong flavor for sure.
Normally, “Karasumi” is highly valued as a high-class accompaniment to “Sake.” The best way of eating it, is slice them thinly and broiling (not too much though) and eat with sliced white radish. Basically, not many Japanese have experiences with actually eating it even if the name itself is well known for most of Japanese people. In addition, it is really expensive, of course. It will cost you about 4,000yen~10,000yen for just a tiny piece!
However, aside from traditional “Karasumi,” the new type of the thing called “Nama-Karasumi” appeared and is gaining a quiet popularity nowadays. It is made from exactly same thing with traditional one. Only difference between those two is its process. “Nama-Karasumi” is bottled before it’s sun-dried so that it is still very raw but salted. It is getting popular because of its milder taste. Also “Nama-Karasumi” is crumbled really well and past made so it is easy to use for any cooking like dressing pasta or mixing with some vegetables for example. It is really suitable for a person who wants to use it a little at a time and then keep the left for a later. And of course, the price of “Nama-karasumi” is much cheaper (about 2,000 yen or less per jar) and that is the biggest reason for its latest popularity.
Still, if you wish to taste this unique delicacy, it is probably better to try some pre-pack sliced “Karasumi” because it will only cost you 500 to 1,000 yen, and it has packed individually. You can give it to someone else if you don’t like it after you have tried!
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