Along with the satisfying popping texture, kazunoko have a salty umami flavor. They can be eaten alone or on sheets of kelp, called kazunoko kombu.
When making kazunoko from herring roe, you should remove the skein, or membrane that holds the clump of eggs together. Besides being unappetizing, the skein also should be removed because doing so helps the roe absorb the marinade flavor. This also gives the kazunoko a more pleasant texture and makes it look more visually appealing — the end result are golden orange clumps that look from afar almost like mango slices.
Beyond its satisfying texture and savory taste, kazunoko is also exceptionally high in protein and also has many vitamins and minerals, although people who are watching their cholesterol should keep in mind its relatively high cholesterol content. You can buy herring roe in Uwajimaya’s seafood department and make your own kazunoko for the New Year’s!