The Nasty Bits: Cod Milt Season
It's that time of year again! Just a friendly reminder from your Nasty Bits columnist that cod milt season is in full swing, and there's no time like the present to scoot over to your local Japanese or Korean market to try the delicacy.
Cod milt, the sperm sac of various fish, is actually one of the easier types of innards to cook. Milt is soft and creamy, yet does not easily overcook. It's pleasantly fishy but not too overwhelming. Keep your preparations simple to allow the natural milt flavors to shine through. And, like so many humble cuts we talk about here, cod milt is cheap. I've never seen a package sell for more than five bucks, even at Japanese grocery stores where just about everything else in the seafood section is expensive. And, that will easily feed four to six.
To brush up on cod milt—how to prepare it deep-fried, pan-fried, and steamed—read more here.
Here are a few more suggestions on milt preparation:
Similar to pan-fried. Instead of dredging the milt in a light coating of flour, simply brown it in a generous amount of butter, oil, or fat. Allow the surface of the milt to char ever so slightly. Cooked this way, milt is firm and meaty and pairs well with root vegetables or a vegetable puree. Or, just squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top, or dip in ponzu.
Simmered in Dashi
Similar to a steamed preparation. Here, there's not a lot between you and the sperm sac. The light dashi broth doesn't do much except give you something to sip on between bites of milt. Use only the freshest milt you can find.
Scrambled with Eggs
For the novice milt eater. Given its closeness in taste and texture to brains, scrambling milt with eggs is as delicious as the French classic of scrambled brains. To prepare, dice the milt into one-fourth of an inch segments. Brown for a bit in the pan before adding the eggs, cream, herbs, and whatever else you like in your scrambled eggs. Each bite of egg will have just a bit of the creamy texture and oceanic flavor of the milt—a perfect way to ease your loved ones into the experience.
About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.