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Shad Roe

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I picked up my first set of the season last night at Wegmans. I sauteed them in butter and then poured the browned butter over the fish and some steamed asparagus and dressed the whole thing with some lemon juice, fleur de sel and pepper and served with a nice Meursault. Just lovely. I've tried other recipes involving shallots, bacon, and/or white wine, but really haven't been as happy with the result but maybe I just haven't found the right recipes. What's your favorite way to prepare shad roe?

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  1. Not a response to your question but another question. What does shad roe taste similar to? I've served this for years to customers in my "other" life and never tried it myself. I love most everything but never wanted to order it for fear I'd waste a whole entree. Thanks for the info.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 4chowpups

      Well, it doesn't really taste like anything else. But I'd have to say that it is more of a meaty taste than a fishy one; if you overcook it it can taste slightly of liver. It tastes nothing like caviar. And it must be absolutely fresh.

    2. Lucky,lucky you. I will never see that in one of my markets!

      1. I like it exactly the way you served it. I really think simple is best when it comes to shad roe. MMMM now im hungry

        1. My husband isn't a fan of it, and a set is sometimes too large for just me. In that case, I saute them, sauce one lobe and put the other in the fridge. Next day, I slice it up and put it in a skillet where I've sweated some onion. When it gets hot, I put in a large egg or 2 small ones that I've beaten with salt, a touch of wostershire, and a small spoonful of grainy dijon mustard. Just had it for lunch, as a matter of fact.

          I used to cook it with bacon, but I never got a sauce to marry well with the roe, so I don't do that anymore. White wine always comes out too harsh, I think. Anything with cream doesn't even sound good.

          I do like onion or shallot, though.

          I've thought about perhaps a bit of orange might be good, but I'm not sure. I happen to have a large meyer lemon. I might try some of the zest in the pan just as the roe are getting done, with a very quick deglazing with the lemon juice. That will give a different taste than sprinkling the lemon juice over top after it comes off. Also the meyer lemon will give it a more aromatic, smooth, and complex taste than regular lemon.

          I have a couple of questions.

          Do you saute them as is, or do you poach them first? I used to poach first, as I think it was Joy of Cooking recommends, or did in the old book at least. I don't do that anymore, as it is a pain and requires too much advance planning. However, it sometimes seems to take forever to get them done through and through when sauteeing as is.

          And, how do you keep the little explosions from happening? Whenever I cook it, I find little fish eggs all over the place: on the stove, counter, my glasses, hair, etc.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bacchante

            I ate the whole thing last night, but it was the smallest set in the fish case. I have split the larger ones before when necessary.

            And I never poach them. Once I did that in a wine-related recipe and hated it. I just put them in a pan of hot butter to brown and then turn the heat down. This reduces the popping of the eggs and you can loosely cover the pan while cooking to avoid the splatter but avoid steaming the roe. (If you put caviar on hot toast it will pop too.) I don't find that they take that long to cook when sauteeing. I'll try deglazing with lemon juice next time instead of the usual spritz on top.