What you need to know about salmon roe

Kinds of Salmon roe

Salmon roe (also called red caviar or salmon caviar) is a kind of top-quality product which is considered to be an alternative to Black Caviar(Sturgeon Caviar). Why is it so? Because it is a plentiful, inexpensive and honest delicacy. The salty-sweet, juicy eggs of salmon attracted fish-egg fans long time ago and also they become popular as Black Caviar prices increased sharply.

According to usgs.gov “Salmon eggs (roe) range in color from pale yellowish-orange to dark reddish-orange. The color varies both by species and within species and is determined by water temperature, sediment composition, age, and other factors. The eggs vary in size from the tiny sockeye roe (average ¼ inch or 5.6 mm) to the large chum roe (average almost ½ inch or 8.3 mm). Also, if a salmon egg does not get fertilized, it can lose its bright hue and turn a milky shade with patches of color.

The red color of eggs comes from carotenoids (antioxidant pigments) that the salmon get from their diet. Salmon deposit carotenoids in both their skin and eggs in preparation for spawning. It protects tissue from oxidative damage and helps regulate immune response. In a spawning adult, the red color is a signal of fitness and status, and is used to attract mates.”

Ok, now we understand what is Salmon Roe. But what should we buy?

As in any other purchase you should always try salmon roe before buying. Red caviar can be different in size, saltiness and explosiveness. Another important feature is the country of origin. And also you should find out if it is fresh or pasteurized. We do not say that roe from cans is bad one. Such product will give you no hint of the complexity of the good stuff.

Salmon roe can also be wild or farmed but it does not usually influence its taste. The more important thing is how it is handled after harvesting. Salmon fish eggs are really flavorful due to amount of oils in them. So they are gentle and can be spoilt very easily. Thus Salmon roe must be stored at near-freezing temperatures to preserve its taste.

Connoisseurs from Japan divide roes according to:

  • type of fish (chum salmon (the most prized), sockeye salmon and king salmon)
  • origin (lake or sea)
  • age (older or younger salmon)

The species of salmon are Coho Salmon (also known as Silver Salmon), Pink Salmon, Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon and  King Salmon (also known as Chinook).

The main thing which differs roe from all of these fish is:

  • the size of the roe
  • the pigment of the caviar.

The largest diameter of roe has Chum Salmon with an average of 9mm. Sockeye and Coho fish roe has the smallest diameter. Right in the middle will be Pink Salmon Caviar. Its roe has a diameter of 7mm in average. Thanks to this fact it is one of the most popular types of salmon roe. As for color the caviar can vary from dark red with Sockeye Salmon, to light Orange with Chum Salmon. While tasting some roe from different species you can find a little difference in taste between them all. For instance, the larger roes like King and Chum can taste richer than the others, while Pink Salmon caviar can have something of a sweeter flavor to it. Some people notice it and some not. In order to find your favorite one you should try different types (to buy online for ex.)and find out.

Now let’s look at some items which we can find in on-line stores.

  • Alaskan Salmon Roe Caviar “Malossol” is one of the most highly ranked roe. The succulent eggs are medium to large in size, their color is red-orange with a just visible small eye. Its envelope is medium crisp, and the beads easily burst in the mouth with a medium salty, oily brine, unleashing the mild flavor of the fresh Salmon.
  • Salmon Roe Keta Caviar has large, gloriously shining eggs. The envelope is translucent and firm, concealing a honey-like and sweet juice of a rich golden-orange color that glistens attractively in the light.
  • Pink Trout Roe Caviar is a French product harvested from farmed pink trout. The medium sized eggs have a bold flavor, strong without being too fishy. The semi-clear orange beads are characterized by an orange-red eye.
  • Coho Salmon Roe is a fresh roe from fish caught wild in Canada. Along with its amazingly rich and fresh sea taste, it is filled with wholesome vitamins, minerals, nutritive elements, and acidic oils. The Malossol method of preparation only emphasizes the incredible aroma. The red-orange beads are large and clear with juicy brine inside.
  • Smoked Trout Roe  is one of the true delicacies among this assortment of high quality products. The best Trout roe caviar is prepared in the Malossol fashion before it is smoked with fruit woods to highlight the salty taste of the Trout and add a light smoky odor. Smoking also produces more gummy eggs. This Trout caviar is a true enjoyment for everyday luxury!