Salmon Eggs - not caviar, but not bait either
August 9, 2006 2:45 PM   Subscribe

What to do with a plethora of salmon eggs?

We just bought over 50 lbs of fresh-caught, uncleaned King Salmon. When we cleaned it we ended up with over 3 quarts of fresh salmon eggs. What can/should we do with this? Feed it to our cats? Eat it (and if so, how to prepare)? Sell/give to fisherman? Help us, all-knowing hive mind!
posted by dbmcd to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 2:53 PM on August 9, 2006

Ikura sushi. Granted, this won't use up much of it, but it's one of my favorite kinds (and proof that you can eat the eggs raw - they burst like little balloons of salty fishy water).
posted by wanderingmind at 2:55 PM on August 9, 2006

ikura is really, really good.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 2:55 PM on August 9, 2006


Or have a scoop of it on a plate, eat it with toast and sour creame, chopped leek and onions on the side!

Don't forget to squeeze some lemon over the eggs.
posted by eatmytag at 2:57 PM on August 9, 2006

ikura is good, but can you eat 3 quarts in 2 days before the roe goes bad? Caviar has a much longer life.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 2:58 PM on August 9, 2006

Don't attempt to eat this you would not like it. Instead cure it with Pro Cure Salmon Egg Cure then produce spawn sacks and hone up on your fishing skills or sell it for a generous profit to those so inclined to angle. For your own good do not attempt to eat this stuff.
posted by xenophanes at 3:01 PM on August 9, 2006

Pro Cure is the best/easiest. If you don't fish yourself, I'm sure many of your neighbors would love the eggs. You may be able to trade for a boat ride or fishing trip. I'm not sure of the legality of selling the eggs, but the easiest way to get rid of them would be to post on the great NW fishing forum, It's a cool bulletin board for NW anglers. Someone local would probably drive to your house tonight if you put an add in the board's classifieds. Also, you'll find lots of tips for using & preparing eggs as bait for Steelhead and salmon, and some good recipes. When you fillet these fish, put the carcasses in a bag and freeze until trash day so you don't funk up your place. Also, many fishermen would be happy to take these carcasses from you for crab bait and they may bring back a few Dungies to you for the favor.
posted by roboto at 4:27 PM on August 9, 2006

I catch plenty of eggs for my own use, or I'd be on a ferry to meet you. ;) If you're not going to grill it all up immediately for a party or something, here is a proven winning recipe for smoking. Brine for extra 12hrs if you want to make the best king candy evar.

Granny GutZ Smoked Fish Recipe (Family Secret)
In a 5 gallon bucket -
1 Gallon warm water
2 Cups salt (I use morton's table salt)
2 Cups Brown Sugar
4 Tablespoons garlic powder
8 Tablespoons onion powder
2 ounce bottle of mapeline
1 1/2 cups Karo Corn Syrup

Mix it all real good. Add trimmed filets. I like to cut fish to skin (not through) in 1 1/2 - 2 inch strips. (brine gets in better, smokes better). This is enough brine for a 5 rack Big Chief Smoker. Let brine 6 to 12 hours. Dry on paper towels for at least an hour. Brush with honey if you like. Pepper heavily with crushed or cracked Black Pepper. Preheat smoker 1 hour. Smoke fish 6 to 12 hours or until completely done. Smoking time varies depending on wind and weather. On some occaisions I have finished off in the oven at 200 degrees.
posted by roboto at 4:59 PM on August 9, 2006

You should brine the roe before eating it. The eggs used in sushi are brined.

Pull the eggs out of their skeins (easiest to do with everything submerged in a bowl of water. Dissolve 1/2 cup of kosher salt into 2 cups of cold water, add roe and let sit for ~20 minutes.

After that, you store it in the fridge for a day or so, or divide them into smaller portions and freeze them (the salmon eggs you get at a sushi bar are usually defrosted).
posted by jamaro at 5:07 PM on August 9, 2006

Ikura (and sujiko) is salt cured salmon eggs. My mother in law used to run a Japanese restaurant, and one of their customers used to bring them quantities of fresh salmon eggs whenever he went fishing in Alaska. They would cure it, and I believe he got a couple of free meals out of it every time. You may want to inquire at your favorite sushi place if they want it to turn into ikura.
posted by derMax at 8:01 PM on August 9, 2006

Salmon egg taramosalata?
posted by brujita at 9:25 PM on August 9, 2006

I haven't tried Pro Cure, but when I was living up in Alaska, I'd just cure my salmon eggs in a plastic bag with some Borax. Worked great. (uh, for bait, not for sushi)
posted by Uselysses at 3:02 PM on August 10, 2006

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