Roe: The Edible Pearls Of The Sea
You might have come across them in your online cooking class lecture on sea food or watched from afar as restaurant patrons whet their appetite with those golden orange globes. Your curiosity got the better of you and you had to find out more about roe. But there is only so much you can learn without actually experiencing it for yourself, so get some friends to tag along and try this delicacy together.
Roe is the fully formed egg taken from a variety of sea animals. Although usually from fish such as salmon, eggs are also harvested from shrimp, scallops and sea urchins. The texture of roe ranges from soft to crunchy, while the flavor can have a buttery, fishy aftertaste.
Types of Roe
Countries around the world eat the eggs of marine animals. Whether cooked or raw, these eggs are considered delicacies of the highest order. They also are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the most well-known types of roe come from Japan:
Ikura: Salmon roe. Reddish-orange in color and quite large.
Sujiko: Also salmon roe, but prepared while still inside its sack. Shows a deep red color and considered to be sweeter than its cousin ikura.
Tobiko: Flying fish roe. Texture is crunchy and its color is reddish-orange like salmon eggs.
Kazunoko: Herring roe. Prepared marinated in sake, broth and soy sauce. Sometimes served raw.
Masago: Capelin roe. Similar to tobiko, but is a distinctively lighter orange color. Is not as common as tobiko in North American waters
Another well-known kind of roe is caviar. Caviar is distinguished from other marine animal eggs for being strictly from the Acipenseriformes species. Caviar traditionally comes from sturgeon, and other marine-life roe is considered to be “substitutes of caviar” by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The most popular types of caviar are:
Beluga: Caviar from the beluga sturgeon. Found mainly in the Caspian Sea, beluga caviar is the most expensive type of roe on the market, fetching a price tag of $200 to $300 for a single ounce.
Sterlet: Sterlet caviar is not as expensive as beluga. It is also desired for the quality of its meat.
Ossetra: Second in quality to beluga caviar. Ossetra eggs have a dark-brown hue.
Sevruga: The last in quality and smaller than both ossetra and beluga eggs.