How to make Salmon Roe to Caviar Recipe – learn about the steps involved in getting the fish eggs to go from roe to caviar. The process is easy and simple, but you do need to have a little “know-how” and I am here to tell you all you need to know.
Before we get into how to make the Caviar from Salmon Roe let’s get some verbiage clear.
What are salmon fish eggs or fish roe?
They both refer to the same thing, it is the yellow round jewel-like fish egg or contents of the sack (skein) inside some female fish’s bellies. If the fish was not to be caught, the fish eggs would later become baby fish. The sack that holds the roe is called a skein.
What is Caviar?
Caviar refers to the cured fish eggs of a sturgeon. All other cured roe must have a specification of which fish it came from before the word caviar. In this way, caviar made from salmon roe or salmon eggs will be called salmon caviar, not just caviar. The true sturgeon caviar is black in color, a lot smaller than salmon caviar, and can cost hundreds of dollars per ounce.
Where can I buy salmon roe?
Since the skeins with the roe are found inside the female salmon, if you were to buy fresh salmon straight from the fisherman during the spawning season or even a grocery store, oftentimes when you clean the fish you will find the belly full of roe inside.
Here in the Pacific North West, you can also search for locations (google “salmon sales locations”) where the Native Americans fish and sell fresh-caught salmon and purchase it straight from them.
Sometimes, they will have already cleaned fish with the salmon roe sold separately. Sometimes, if you buy the whole female fish during spawning season it will have the fish eggs inside.
Homemade Salmon Caviar Recipe
Salmon Roe Recipe
Set a large bowl in the sink, fill it with warm water, and set a colander or sieve into/over it.
Make one tear along 1 skein lengthwise exposing the roe inside. Place the skein inside the colander and allow the warmth of the water to help shrink the outside membrane of the skein and free up some of the fish eggs. The roe might become opaque in color, do not worry this is ok.
Gently, using your fingers continue freeing up more roe from the sack. When all of it is out, raise the sieve with the fish eggs up and down, rinsing out the impurities. Then pick out the rest of the impurities by hand. You can drain the water and add more clean water to further clean out the roe. Remove the sieve with the roe to a clean dry bowl.
Meanwhile make the brine: in a bowl that would fit the sieve inside stir 3 cups water and 1/2 cup kosher salt until the salt is dissolved.
Lower the sieve with the cleansed roe into the brine. Allow to sit for several minutes or until it is salted to your liking. I kept the roe in the brine for about 3 minutes.
Raise the sieve out of the brine and transfer the salmon caviar to a paper towel to absorb the extra liquid. Then, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.