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Mar 29, 2010 01:20 PM

Shad Roe for yumyum

Wipe them very gently with paper towels and use a sharp knife to separate the two roe sacs, but be careful not to puncture the membrane that contains the roe. Melt A LOT of butter in a frying pan over quite high heat until it foams, then add the roe and cook uncovered for a minute or two to sear, lower the heat to medium low and cover and cook another couple of minutes. Then very carefully and gently flip them over (years ago a fish vendor said to my father, "don't break the little f**kers" and my very prim and proper mother takes much glee in repeating this every time we talk about shad roe), cover again and continue cooking on medium low for another 3 or 4 minutes. Now take one out and make a little nick to check for doneness -- there should be just the faintest hint of pink. Serve with all that lovely butter poured over and either capers on top or a lemon wedge. I like to sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. A classic variation is to cook some bacon first, take out of pan, use the bacon grease to cook the roe and serve them with crumbled bacon on top -- but much as I love love love bacon, I think it kills the delicate flavor of the roe. We had the roe with asparagus and tiny red new potatoes. Bliss. Thanks for the tip about the great prices on shad roe at New Deal!

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  1. I was wondering about the bacon overpowering the delicate roe. I'm going to try your buttery buttery method Gretchen, thanks so much for posting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      I love shad roe...but the last 2 times I cooked it they kept exploding...maybe they should be lightly pricked first?

      1. re: EricMM

        No, pricking won't help, just makes it easier for them to explode. My guess is that you've got the heat too high. After the initial sear you need to keep it really low. Having the lid on means they almost poach rather than saute.

    2. Good job Gretchen. Just got ahold of some shad roe yesterday at Central Market in Houston, TX. I love that they put it out in the fish case without a label or a price. I asked the fishmonger about that and he said, "Yeah, we get folks from Maryland in here this time of year. They know what it is." I told him I'm from MD, and please give me one. It was $15.00. So they're proud of them, but it's a once-in-a-year treat.

      I cooked it very similarly to how Gretchen described. I dredged it lightly in some seasoned flour, and then cooked it in brown butter at first and then turn the heat down. Flipped delicately after about three minutes. It puffs up to about twice its thickness. I like my mine fairly pink inside.

      After I removed the roe, I added half a cup of chardonnay and reduced that a bit and poured it over the roe. Yum!