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Shad Roe

I saw shad roe today in the market. Does it seem early? I have always been tempted to buy some especially after reading 'Founding Fish'. Does anyone have a recipe? JOC looks good and simple. I would appreciate a bit of advice and guidance. I was considering serving it with mashed potatoes and garlic spinach.

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  1. <Does it seem early? >

    It does, but Grand Central Oyster Bar has shad roe on the menu today. So I guess it's right on time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      Shad season begins in February, with Florida....as the season progresses, they move further north until the season ends in May with the Northeast shad. There is a moratorium now on the Hudson river shad, so that source is gone. I just dredge the roe in flour and sear it in butter...really simple.

        1. Interesting. I was just in a Whole Foods in Massachusetts and they had shad roe. I asked the same thing, "isn't it a little early?" and was told that the roe they're selling comes from the Chesapeake Bay & Hudson River.

          The Hudson River origin contradics what someone elsewhere in this thread mentions, that that fishery is closed. So who knows? Definitely not northeast shad roe, that's certain. There are no shad bushes in bloom on the banks of the Connecticut River this time of year!

          Nevertheless. Cooking-wise, one thing I do first is place the shad roe in a bowl and pour boiling water down the side of the bowl (not directly onto the roe). This causes the roe casing to firm up and it becomes less likely to tear when pan frying.

          Lightly coating in flour and pan frying in butter & garlic is good, then splashed with fresh lemon juice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lescaret

            I never believe what I am told by fish markets. The guy you spoke probably wasn't lying, and really believed it, but fish markets are notorious about miss-stating the origins of their seafood. Look at all the "wild" salmon out there. Supermarkets are the worst...I once saw tilapia labeled "wild, from Canada". I would expect better from Whole Foods, the guy may have just assumed what he said because of where they came from in the past. Even quality fish markets can be misinformed. Many years ago, before they became more well known, I saw a huge geoduck clam in my local fish market. The owner seriously believed that it was a world record steamer clam. When I told him what it was, he realized that his supplier had played a joke on him.

            1. re: lescaret

              Interesting re: the hot water in a bowl. Anyone else do this?

              I think I have read many of the shad roe threads in the past (bc I am interested in making it, but never have). I will keep this in mind if I do ever get around to making it.

              1. re: lescaret

                That's weird; my fishmonger had Shad roe today that he said was from CT.

                1. re: MrsCheese

                  Again, I'll be polite and say he was mis-informed. In my grad school days, I'd take undergrads on field trips for collecting. One of these trips was to the Hudson River. In those days, there was an active fishery for shad. We would see the nets when we'd cross the Tappan Zee bridge. This would be around late April/early May. Connecticut would have to come a little later, at least by a week or so.

              2. While shad roe is one of my super favorite things, l wait until l can buy the whole roe shad and use it then. l am more confidant in its freshness. Seems to be seen in PA around early to mid-March