Homemade Salmon Caviar
Caviar is definitely one of those delicacies that if you didn’t grow up eating, you’ll have to acquire taste for, just like olives and such. If you have acquired taste for it though, most likely you get excited just looking at it. A slice of toasted fresh bread, a little bit of butter, topped with salty fishy goodness that looks like little jewels – you know life is good when you’re eating one of these. Having a fisherman in the family means that you get luckier than others as you can eat the freshest caviar out there, and we all know that fresh anything is the best. So if you’re one of the select few that has access to fresh roe, you’ll love this recipe that at one time, my avid fisherman uncle shared with me.
This same method, can be used to make any other kind of caviar.
- Fresh Salmon Roe
- Hot water
- Large holed sieve/colander
- Take the roe sack and place in colander with holes smaller than roe eggs, but big enough to let impurities and pieces of membrane through. Run hot tap water over it (hot water shrinks up the membrane, freeing up the roe), ripping the outside membrane and freeing up the roe with a teaspoon. If the membranes do not wash off through the holes of the sieve, pick them out, leaving only cleansed roe. Be very gentle as pressing on the roe too much will break the eggs and you will need to further pick the empty ‘shells’ out.
- Shake off extra liquid and transfer the cleansed roe to a clean container. Sprinkle with generous amount of salt (do not be afraid if you add to much, you can always rinse it to reduce the salt amount). Let sit with the salt for a minute or so, then taste and adjust for more salt. At first the eggs will release moisture, look slightly wrinkly, and it will look as though you need to drain the liquid off, do not do so. (Chemistry behind the phenomena: once the salt is added to the outside of the roe, it will try to achieve equal ‘saltiness’ on the inside as the outside, so it will give off liquid to make the outside less salty, but in a minute or so equilibrium will be reached, as the roe will reabsorb the salty brine back inside it’s bubble)
- Transfer the caviar into a glass container, close and refrigerate. For best results, use within 1 week.
- Caviar can be frozen for up to 2 months. It needs to be thawed slowly for best results though, so thaw in the refrigerator.
When the hot water is poured over the fish roe, the color might change from clear orange, to opaque orange. The caviar will change back to normal color and clarity once out of the hot water and salted.