How to make a meal with fish roe?
January 5, 2019 4:37 AM   Subscribe

I've been advised to add fish roe to my diet. Aside from a bit of sushi, this is new to me. I have a number of questions.

What kind of roe is best? I live in Asia, so it's likely possible for me to get pretty much any kind of roe. My major concern is sustainability, but if there are multiple sustainable choices, then I'd be hoping for a beginner roe. Not too impossibly fishy or squirty.

How do I serve it? With bread? In recipes? I don't have the patience to make complicated sushi.

Is there anything I should be specially aware of? Anything I haven't asked but should have asked?

Note: Assume I plan to take the advice to eat more roe. I'm not really interested in discussion if that is good or bad advice.
posted by frumiousb to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What’s the reason for eating more fish roe? A vitamin deficiency maybe?

Knowing what you need the roe for will inform your answers.
posted by bunderful at 4:41 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

A couple big spoonfuls of salmon roe on a bowl of rice is delicious.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:42 AM on January 5, 2019 [12 favorites]

A kind of vitamin deficiency. I was told any kind of fish roe will do for that purpose.
posted by frumiousb at 4:45 AM on January 5, 2019

Torskerogn (essentially tinned cod's roe) is a common sandwich spread in Scandinavia. It's also served sliced and fried.
posted by Stoneshop at 5:01 AM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Bread, butter, roe (similarly some kind of thin cracker or toast)
Hard boiled egg cut in half, mayo, roe
Crepes, sour cream, roe
posted by pyro979 at 5:03 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

See if you can get a hold of some taramasalata. Or you could probably make it. Then it would be easy to eat copious quantities on toast.
posted by peacheater at 5:23 AM on January 5, 2019 [5 favorites]

Seconding salmon roe, flying fish roe, and capelin roe. I eat them at least once a week poke style with some rice, imitation crab, avacado, seaweed, and a spicy chili sauce.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:31 AM on January 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

With the roe I’m most familiar with (salmon), I know it’d be tasty on rice, and I think it would on toast, with crackers (maybe it’d slide off, eat a spoonful and then crackers?)
posted by sacchan at 5:38 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love tarama but I reckon that, unless you're at a fairly fancy Greek restaurant, there's not too much roe in the commercial offerings.

Were I to maximise my roe consumption, I can get wee jars of trout roe just next to the commercial tarama.

What kind of roe is best?

Who advised you to eat more roe?
posted by pompomtom at 6:00 AM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like a little blob of roe on a sunny side up egg. Salty multispecies eggy goodness. I've done it with cheap red or black Russian caviar; it would be good with Japanese style roe too.

I also like cheap Russian caviar eaten off a spoon alternating with sips of vodka; the salt and the alcohol temper each other really well and both become more delicious. This may or may not align with your health plan though.

I buy the little glass jars of caviar that are like $6 because they're pretty good: I'm sure expensive Russian caviar is even better.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:03 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mentaiko (spicy pollock or fish roe) is delicious in pasta. Here’s a recipe.
posted by faineg at 6:15 AM on January 5, 2019 [6 favorites]

a dollop of fish roe on an open avocado sandwich. If you like, add some creme fraiche or greek yogurt for extra freshness
posted by mumimor at 6:25 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Salmon roe with pasta is delicious.
posted by veggieboy at 6:45 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

The crunchy pop and saltiness of roe works nicely with soft and fresh things like on ripe tomatoes or in lettuce cups or with avocado.

When it comes to starches, smaller types of roe tend to be amazing on potato things, like caviar on a little fried latke. I like larger roe on rice because I feel like the larger amount of liquid in each egg kind of sauces the rice when you chew it. No need for "complicated sushi", just make some short grain rice, some kind of green wrap thing like nori, perilla leaves or lettuce, put a spoonful of rice in there and a spoonful of roe, fold over and eat it. Maybe put some other things in there like a fresh vegetable or some protein, and you can roll a few up into cone shaped hand rolls if that makes you feel fancier.
posted by Mizu at 6:48 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't know if they're available where you are, but a friend just recommended salmon roe on (English) muffins.
posted by lazuli at 6:53 AM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch is one of the better programs tracking sustainable seafood. They recommend abalone or sea urchin. Invertebrates are generally much faster breeders and thus their roe is much more sustainable than fish.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:54 AM on January 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

I think a generous spoonful of roe would be excellent on a toasted bagel half with cream cheese or on avocado toast!
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

When my daughter wants sushi but not to be complicated she just shreds nori and throws it along with rice and sushi fixings in a bowl and eats them like that.
posted by corb at 9:25 AM on January 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

it would be nice floated in the middle of a creamy or pureed soup
posted by mmascolino at 12:44 PM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

When I was a child, my mother used to make a version of this recipe: fried herring roe on toast. It was creamy, delicious, and less fishy (IMO) than other types of larger roe like salmon.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like trout roe on toaste with creme fraiche and some thin slices of cucumber, maybe a bit of dill.
posted by asphericalcow at 4:30 PM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks! I should have been clearer that when I said "best" I meant in terms of sustainability and taste. hydropsyche, I wonder if I need to update my app because mine gets no hits at all for roe. Appreciate you somehow have better app juju.

I'm planning to make coconut rice tonight, and I'll try sprinkling some on that. Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by frumiousb at 7:56 PM on January 5, 2019

Is it for the DHEA in it? Well, whatever the reason, there's all kinds of different fish roe.

You're in Asia? I know that in some markets (immature-ish/almost-mature) fish roe from different kinds of whitefish are available as little fillets. They're yummy - traditionally my family egg batters them, fry in oil, light drizzle of soy sauce or soy paste, eaten as a side with rice and vegetables.

Similarly, mash and fry with scrambled eggs.

Does sea urchin roe (uni) count? I like to eat them folded inside a sheet of snack seaweed. It's indulgent, but uni in scrambled eggs is divine. Especially with a splash of cognac before frying.

Salmon roe is larger and "juicier" - I've enjoyed them at the bottom of inari (bean curd pocket) skins with a cap of warm sushi rice.

Tobiko (flying fish) is a higher quality roe than Masago (capelin), but they're both good as a bit of savouriness to green salads.
posted by porpoise at 7:59 PM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you want sustainability, look for roe that has been milked. It's a real thing. In this case trout and salmon.

I love roe but don't eat nearly enough of it.
posted by michswiss at 4:13 AM on January 6, 2019

I'm another person who likes masago and tobiko in salads! All kinds of salads, seaweed salads, green leafy salads, egg salad (or deviled eggs, OMG) benefit from a bit of roe.
posted by domo at 1:26 PM on January 6, 2019

Too lazy to fry up latkes on the regular? Caviar on Lay's potato chips topped with a dollop of creme fraiche. It's easiest for me to get the inexpensive Russian salmon roe, but I think it's better with the smaller darker roes. I also often just spread it on toast with butter.

Also have been known to purchase tobiko and masago from the Asian grocery to be eaten straight from the tub with a spoon. Way cheaper than ordering it as sashimi!
posted by yeahlikethat at 2:39 PM on January 6, 2019

Make a simple mixture of salmon/rainbow trout row, creme fraiche, finely diced onion/challots with salt and pepper. Spread this on buttered toast.

This 'sauce' can also be eaten with boiled potatoes, salmon, or pretty much anything you can think of.
posted by wile e at 1:15 AM on January 7, 2019

I like masago or tobiko roe with most dim sum dumplings. Shui mai especially.
posted by wnissen at 10:29 AM on January 7, 2019

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