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Frozen Salmon Roe - Do I rinse it?

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  • Shiro Miso Feb 8, 2005 06:02 PM
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Picked some up at my local Japanese fishmonger and thawed it overnight in the fridge. The eggs seem to be sticking together. (I imagine along the way some of these eggs broke and the contents are causing this stickiness) Is rinsing under cold water the right thing to do or will I risk losing flavour?

I haven't worked with this ingredient before and I plan to make sushi tomorrow night. Any help would be much appreciated!

Thank you,

Shiro Miso.

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  1. No, I think it's pretty common for this to happen, especially if its been frozen. I think rinsing the roe under water will cause white residue to form.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jen

      You're right... I bet some of the eggs broke during the freezing as the liquid expanded. Good thought! Thanks Jen.

      Why the white residue though? That is interesting.

      1. re: Shiro Miso

        I'm not sure what the white residue is myself. I've noticed it when I wash the roe or roe juices off dishes. Perhaps the temperature of the water causes the juices to "cook"?

        1. re: Jen

          Very possibly... I will try ice cold water with a few eggs and see what happens!

          1. re: Shiro Miso

            Tried it with ice cold water and this white, thread - like stuff arose from the eggs. Not pretty. Do not rinse!

            Next time I'll buy fresh and hope for un-sticky eggs.

    2. Did you buy Ikura or Suzuko? Ikura is the bright (often dyed) bright orange little balls that are supposed to be totally separate - I didn't even know this stuff could be frozen. It's been processed with lye and lots of salt to get the individual eggs separate.

      Suzuko is actually the entire sac. The eggs are "glued together" in the sac and are almost impossible to separate. They are a much duller brownish orange - natural. This is usually salted down - sometimes brined in soy sauce, and can be frozen - it's usually salted to the point that it doesn't freeze hard, but stays a gooey mess. You can't separate the eggs without a lot of work, and you're much better off just cutting sections out of this.

      Suzuko is marvelous and rare - I can't find it in Boston, even at the Japanese food places. It's one of the reasons I still journey to Misawa in NJ - they often have it (but not always). I shamelessly empty out their shelves if I find it.

      In any case - don't rinse them. Cut them if they're in the sac, or spoon them if their supposed to be separate.

      4 Replies
      1. re: applehome

        Yes, since you went to a Japanese fishmonger then maybe you bought sujiko and not ikura. Sujiko is processed differently from ikura because the eggs are still in the skein. When the skein is removed and the eggs are separated, it is called ikura.

        You probably would not want to bother separating the eggs yourself. It is difficult, but the size of the eggs might not be the same. Ikura is mostly made from chum salmon (and costs more), while sujiko is more often made from sockeye and other species. Sujiko isn't eaten much in the US but is popular in Japan.

        1. re: cornflower

          I did buy Ikura. I live in Toronto and have seen both Ikura and Sujiko (didn't know what it was)for sale in Japanese stores. I often see fresh Ikura for sale but bought frozen as an experiment. Tobiko and Masago are also widely available frozen here. I have never tried Sujiko... how do you prepare it? Sounds great!

          Thanks for the info.

          1. re: Shiro Miso

            I just cut it into manageable (by chopsticks) chunks, and eat it with steamed rice - like just about everything else Japanese. I usually have sheets of nori - lightly cooked over a flame and cut into about 2x3 squares - which you just fold over the item and the rice with chopsticks and pop in your mouth. That's dinner for us, very often - a bowl of rice with something like the sujiko or terriyaki or whatever... As far as fish roes go, I'm not a big Tobiko fan - although the wasabi flavored green stuff is a kick. My favorite is kazunoko-kombu - herring roe stuck to pieces of kombu. Also cod roe, suzuko, especially the Korean spiced up version - mentaiko, is delicious raw. You can also cook suzuko - it becomes a tasty, crumbly addition to rice, especially as a rice ball (onigiri) while traveling or on a picnic - this is bringing up memories for me - it's my comfort food.

            1. re: applehome

              So much for not editing - cod roe is tarako.