The Island of Taiwan is blessed with abundant fish resources. Each winter, large school of mullet fish follows warm currents to the south in other to spawn, providing high income to the villagers along the southern Taiwan coast. Full-grown mullet fish are about a foot long in length, and each part of the fish’s body ha economic value. The meet, which is rich and tender, is good in rice-noodle soup. Its air bladder and tendon contain high level of protein and make for an expensive seasonal dish in seafood restaurants. And its plump, golden-yellow roe, after being preserved, is a long-standing delicacy in Taiwan and a popular gift item during festival and New Year.
In the past, catching mullet fish and preserving their roe was a prevalent profession in the winter month in the fishing villages around Chia Ding Town in southern Taiwan. Because of the popularity of the preserved roe, which always sells out at New Years, and the fact that the mullet-fish catches in southern Taiwan can’t always meet, demand, mullet roe has traditionally been shipped in from North, Central and South America. This is way stores island-wide are able to stock mullet roe year round without running out.