What fishy organ did I eat?
January 4, 2009 4:02 PM   Subscribe

What fishy organ did I eat?

When I was in South Korea, I was taken out for a meal of agujjim, a spicy fish stew made with angler fish or monkfish. The dish includes the fish's internal organs, not just the flesh.

My host offered me a special part of the fish. It was bumpy, about the size of an almond and ovoid. I don't know what colour it was, being covered in spicy red sauce. I was told to let it cool down because the thing had liquid inside and would be very hot if I bit into it right away. When I ate it, it was very firm, like hard cartilage and the taste was bitter. It was indeed full of a watery liquid. I can't say I really enjoyed it.

Ever since I ate that weird thing I've been curious as to what it was. Any ideas?
posted by Rora to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've cleaned many monkfish, and the ovaries of the fish when it is not spawning are hard and bumpy almond shapes, slightly reddish. I've never known anyone to eat them, though.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2009

Could it have been a sea squirt (aka tunicate)?

I've never had agujjim, but this blog posting about it seems to describe a similar object to what you ate.

"I don’t know if any of you have tried Agujjim or any of the other foods that feature sea squirt (I found some in a shabu shabu one time), but it’s a funny little sea critter that explodes with liquid once you bite into it, kind of the way a grape explodes, except times about seven, both in the amount of force required to break it, and in the amount of liquid that comes out."
posted by elkerette at 5:14 PM on January 4, 2009

Googling for sea squirts led me to this link, which seems to confirm that I did indeed eat a sea squirt. Thanks, elkerette!
posted by Rora at 5:27 PM on January 4, 2009

I've eaten virtually every fish the Japanese have thrown at me, including sea cucumber, rotten funazushi and squid guts, but there is no way I could ever eat sea squirt.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:45 PM on January 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

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