The Time I Tried Fish Sperm Sacs at Wabi Sabi

I’m not going to lie, when we first moved to New Jersey from New York City, I was sad … about the food. There is no match — food-wise, that is — from Manhattan, where we first lived together as a foodie couple, and Brooklyn, where we were living before having the baby and becoming a suburbanite couple. 

So imagine how happy I was when we discovered Wabi Sabi, a Japanese restaurant (an actually authentic one) just two blocks away from our house?! 

To the Japanese, “Wabi Sabi” means the art of imperfection, but every fish we had at this Bloomfield spot was perfect — even the fish sperm sacs that came with the Wabi Sabi Signature special that we ordered. 

Before the “shirako” (that’s what fish sperm sacs are called) arrived at our table, the server came to us and asked if we were comfortable eating anything. “Anything? Sure,” we said. “We’ll try it all: sea urchin, monkfish liver… as long as it’s not moving, we’re down.” She smiled the way to smile at someone before you say, “oh that’s cute.” So naturally, we were at the edge of our seats and couldn’t wait to see the treasure trove of sashimi and other delicacies we were about to dig into.

But, let me back up a second to explain what the “Wabi Sabi Signature” is. Basically, the chef picks. Anything is fair game. 

So here’s what we got… 

There’s the usual sashimi: salmon, fatty tuna, sea bass, tamago, etc. We got two types of  sea urchin: one kind from Japan and the other from California. We have preferred Japan’s, which was less pungent yet still sweet. And there’s the monkfish liver we bragged about. 

As the server explained what’s what, when she said “and this is shirako, fish sperm,” we gasped. But hey, we did say we’d try anything. We smiled at her — confidently — and like nothing, took the leap! 

We tried it solo. Yummm! We tried it with a drop of ponzu. Even yummier. It was buttery and sweet. I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve had, taste-wise. It had the texture of chicken intestine though, not to turn you off. If you ever see it on a menu, seriously, give it a shot.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Wabi Sabi

Broad Street in Bloomfield, NJ



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