Are Fish Eggs on Sushi Alive?

Eggs are essential ingredients in making sushi, with fish eggs or caviar being particularly prevalent in western sushi trends, but many are wondering if the fish in those eggs are alive.

Are sushi fish eggs still alive when consumed? Fortunately for those who would rather keep their meals as free of cruelty as possible, they are not. In order for the eggs to produce actual fish, they will need to be fertilized by male fish upon release by the mother. As such, if the eggs are harvested from inside the mother before they are fertilized, they are not alive.

There are many things about sushi eggs that you might want to keep in mind and whether or not they are alive should be pretty far down your list.

Main Concerns with Fish Eggs in Sushi

There is no denying that the fish eggs used for garnishing sushi add an exquisite taste of freshness to the whole ensemble. However, this does not mean that there are no concerns with regards to the actual consumption of it. As a matter of fact, there are more than a few ways in which you might think about just telling the staff not to serve the sushi with the eggs.

However, this pretty much applies to any kind of food. There are always going to be risks. As for fish eggs used in sushi or even just caviar, in general, the main things to look out for are:

·         Freshness

·         Taste

·         Texture

·         Smell

·         Color

If the caviar you are about to eat cannot pass those tests, it is not worth consuming. Otherwise, you might have to deal with quite a few concerns such as those in the table below:

Terrible tasteEven if the eggs are not exactly at the point where they are dangerous, if they are anything less than fresh, they will leave a bad taste in your mouth
ParasitesThere are times when fish eggs contain parasites if they were not harvested properly, so you should only get your eggs from reliable source
Food poisoningFish eggs that have become spoiled will become breeding grounds for harmful microorganisms, which can cause all kinds of illnesses

It would be safe to say that eating sushi is a bit of a risk due to the many fresh ingredients that are served with it. The fact that it is often served at room temperature only elevates those risks. This is why you must always consider the situation when you are thinking about eating sushi.

To start with, you should only ever eat sushi that is served from an accredited restaurant or sushi bar that serves such food. If you are getting your sushi from a kiosk, you need to be very careful about the ingredients that are being served.

You will especially want to watch out for sushi from convenience stores or gas station stores. Those were never meant to hold ingredients that are supposed to be served as fresh as fish eggs. If the sushi being served in such establishments does contain this particular ingredient, you will want to keep clear.

That is unless you want to spend the whole day in the bathroom.

Why Fish Eggs Are Served with Sushi

With such concerns surrounding the use of sushi fish eggs, why exactly is it being used for making sushi? If you are going to ask a question like that, you might as well question pretty much every ingredient used in this Japanese dish. This is because it adds a completely unique, distinct, and enjoyable flavor, scent, and texture to the food.

If you have ever really eaten sushi before, you will likely already know just how amazing it can taste. All of that flavor just bursting out of every piece, especially if all of the ingredients are fresh and the dish is made by an expert chef. Those are the reasons why sushi has become such a popular food fare, even though most people in the world are used to cooked items.

The eggs impart a particularly exquisite experience that basically completes your enjoyment of the dish. However, it should be emphasized that the current method of covering sushi rolls with orange eggs is something that is more popular in the west than it is in Japan. In its home country, the people enjoy sushi with the seaweed outside and with the eggs as toppings.

Is Caviar Really Delicious?

As with anything else in the world, your enjoyment of food can be incredibly subjective. In the case of expensive items like caviar, for example, opinions can vary wildly. This applies to even those who actually enjoy eating the eggs in various ways. If the question is whether or not caviar is actually delicious, this might be the wrong question to ask.

The most accurate thing you can say about caviar is that it offers an exquisitely unique taste and texture to anything that you eat, or if you eat it alone. It is basically an experience for the mouth and tongue, much like how Bungie jumping or sky diving would be. You don’t enjoy it for the results but rather, for the journey.

If anyone can actually say that caviar is tasty, it is likely that they have a particularly unique set of taste buds. Those who enjoy it do so for something else entirely, such as how alcohol is consumed for something other than taste. Can anyone actually say that beer or scotch tastes good? You would be hard-pressed to find someone like that.

Yet, they are still quite popular and it would help to think of caviar in that manner. It is enjoyed for a particular reason and this reason does not necessarily have to easily understood or appreciated. It is just what it is, and at the end of the day, if you like then you like it.

Related Questions

Is Fish Roe Healthy?

As far as fresh ingredients go, fish roe is about as healthy as you could ask for. These are basically ingredients that are as pure and as untarnished as food can be, provided they are procured from reliable sources. You just have to be careful about the risks mentioned above for your safety.

Is Caviar OK When Pregnant?

You can only eat caviar that is pasteurized and you can only be sure that it is pasteurized when the label on the tin indicates that this is the case. If you are eating out and you are served food with caviar, be sure to ask if this is the case. If the caviar is not pasteurized, the safest option would be not to eat it.

Why Your Caviar is Not Really Caviar

There is this common misconception that any raw fish served in any form is called caviar but this is not entirely true. Yes, eggs harvested from fish roe can be classified as a type of caviar but there needs to be a classification to go along with it. That is to say, if the eggs come from tuna or salmon, the resulting product should be called tuna caviar or salmon caviar.

The only eggs that do not need any qualifier to be called caviar are those that are harvest from sturgeon. These are basically the large, orange, and high-quality types of caviar that are enjoyed along with champagne, French cheese, and foie gras. And you better believe that there is a difference in both the experience and the price.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you call those sushi fish eggs except for when you need to buy them. Because then, you can’t just say caviar because you might end up paying quite the hefty sum for them.

Other Ways to Eat Caviar

With caviar being such an exquisite food item, what are the ways in which it can be served or eaten? As a general rule of thumb, as long as you don’t use it for cooking, it should be good for just about anything. Starting with the simplest way to eat caviar, you can pretty much consume it on its own. The best way to do so would be with the use of forks made of bone, but plastic will do.

Then there are the more inventive methods like using it as a spread on an open-faced sandwich or as a topping for hors d’oeuvres. Depending on what you are pairing the caviar with, you can bring out some of the most indescribable combinations of flavors you can ask for. Just be careful not to go overboard and overwhelm the taste of caviar, as a result.

Finally, there are many who have come up with the crazy idea of combining caviar with desserts and in many cases, it has actually worked. There have been those who made mousse or ice cream using caviar, and there seems to be a following that came about because of this because they haven’t really gone away. Feel free to get inventive, as well, and you might find some unique combos too. 

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