taiwan: fish eggs, fish eggs, roly poly fish eggs

no, i’m not done posting about taiwan yet. but we’ll have a brief french interlude soon, i promise. but first: i’ve always contended that italy and china/taiwan are remarkably similar, what with the native inhabitants’ aversion to forming queues, their love of noodles, their boisterousness/raucousness/expressiveness (depending where your sympathies lie and what kind of situation you’re in at the time), and so much else besides. here’s another similarity, which i first discovered walking through the old village of lukang: taiwanese people also make

bottarga. it never occurred to me that asians would also be into curing and drying mullet roe, but with their penchant for dehydrating anything remotely edible, i guess it should have been a foregone conclusion. they consume it in a different way, but it looks the same, even up close:

oddly, my mother never mentioned the connection when we visited sicily last year and picked up some bottarga there, but i think that’s because we got some made from tuna roe, which is so huge that it doesn’t really look anything like this. when i mentioned the bottarga to her this time, she said, oh, you’re talking about oh hi ji’. an oh hi being one of these guys:

or grey mullet. mom pointed these out to me at the douliou day market. they’ve already been divested of their ji’, or eggs. while in italy, bottarga is usually grated or sliced and used more as a condiment for pasta or maybe celery salad, in taiwan, they like to slice it fairly thin width-wise, stick it in the toaster oven with some kind of garnish (scallions and something else i think) and eat it as a snack. they were selling tons of this at the kaohsiung night market.

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9 Responses to “taiwan: fish eggs, fish eggs, roly poly fish eggs”


  1. 1 emy January 18, 2006 at 10:47 am

    Wish I had the courage to try it out when I was travelling in Taiwan during Dec. 😛

  2. 2 Amy Kuo Hammerman January 20, 2006 at 8:40 am

    Ohmigod, I LOVE these fish eggs. My mom serves them sliced and toasted, with slivers of daikon. She never called them bottarga or oh hi ji. Nope, no sugarcoating there – just “fish eggs.” She’s always been pretty direct though.

  3. 3 thomas peigottu January 29, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    blank we are an Italian company of the Sardinia, we will want to buy fish eggs, you can make an offer prices me? thanks Thomas peigottu

    我们是一家意大利公司空白的撒,我们会想买鱼蛋 你可以作出还价呢? 感谢托马斯peigottu

  4. 4 Fuad Aziz January 1, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Dear Sirs
    Happy New Year for you and your family
    We are new food company in yemen (the country in the Middle East). We have location near the fish market and we have chance to grill and bake fish then sell it with large quantity,the quantity is ( 1ton/day) ( 6kg / 20minutes)
    We do not know, which oven is suitable for that ?
    We hope you to help us to find and buy suitable oven, We want to import one from Taiwan.
    please kindly help us with good idea and good advice.
    Thanks and best regards
    Yours sincerely
    Fuad Aziz

  5. 5 lodovico May 30, 2009 at 9:45 am

    ciao .mi chiamo lodovico .
    sono interessato al vostro prodotto,
    sono disposto a partire in taiwan per l’acwisto dele uova del grey mullet
    attendo vostre notizie , ciao

  6. 6 lodovico May 30, 2009 at 10:05 am

    buon giorno,
    hello, my name lodovico
    are interested in your product type grey mullet eggs
    i wold be willing to leave taiwan,
    i await your news you can hance prices , dell’eggs mullet x 1 kg

  7. 7 lodovico June 8, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Unless, I would like to get in contact with the producers of bottarga, and ‘may have contatti.vi thank you in advance.

  8. 8 Thi Le November 3, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    hi!
    came by your blog while doing a search for mullet…lol..awesome blog!

    i always wondered how dried mullet roe is prepared…even though i’m chinese i’ve never had it..is it a specialty dish only in certain areas?

    I would love to go to taiwan!!

  9. 9 MrGnocchi August 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Great Stuff!
    Who knew Bottarga was made in Taiwan as well?
    And it looks so damn good!


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