Oh Yay, It’s Deep-Fried Fish Testicle Season

ShirakoIzakaya

Yep, that’s it: “Shirako Tempura,” front and center on the menu I was handed at the izakaya Friday night. (Or if you’re slimming, you can slurp them down raw for only ¥399, with little chopped veggies lurking on the side.)

If you’re in Tokyo from Nov-Mar and are brave enough to try this delicacy, walk through the backstreets of Ikebukuro, Shibuya, or Shinjuku, looking for sidewalk signs advertising shirako (白子).

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more