Homemade Salmon Caviar Recipe
How to make Salmon Roe to Caviar Recipe – learn about the steps involved in getting the fish eggs to go from roe to caviar. The process is easy and simple, but you do need to have a little “know-how” and I am here tell you all you need to know.
Before we get into how to make the Caviar from Salmon Roe let’s get some verbiage clear.
What are salmon fish eggs or fish roe?
They both refer to the same thing, it is the yellow round jewel-like fish egg or contents of the sack (skein) inside some female fish’s bellies. If the fish was not to be caught, the fish eggs would later become baby fish. The sack that holds the roe is called a skein.
What is Caviar?
Caviar refers to the cured fish eggs of a sturgeon. All other cured roe must have a specification of which fish it came from before the word caviar. In this way, caviar made from salmon roe or salmon eggs will be called salmon caviar, not just caviar. The true sturgeon caviar is black in color, a lot smaller than salmon caviar and can cost hundreds of dollars per ounce.
Why is sturgeon Caviar so expensive?
The high cost of sturgeon caviar does not come so much from the exceptional flavor, which is not to say that it doesn’t taste good, but more so because of the scarcity of mature sturgeon fish.
Sturgeon female fish must be at least 10 years old before they’re ready to migrate upstream to lay their eggs. Most of them have been fished out by that age, which is exactly why the mature sturgeon are rare and their roe is extremely expensive.
How much Salmon Caviar comes from 1 lb of Salmon Roe?
From every pound of salmon roe, you will get about 1/2 pound of salted or cured caviar.
Is Salmon Caviar or Roe good for you?
Salmon roe is amongst one of the richest foods in the omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to the early brain and eye development, as well as the support of heart, eye, immune and mental health throughout the later years.
Which is why, eating caviar is good for your health overall, but especially so if you’re pregnant, or a child.
Where can I buy salmon roe?
Since the skeins with the roe are found inside the female salmon, if you were to buy fresh salmon straight from the fisherman during the spawning season or even a grocery store, oftentimes when you clean the fish you will find the belly full of roe inside.
Here in the Pacific North West, you can also search for locations (google “salmon sales locations”) where the Native Americans fish and sell fresh caught salmon and purchase it straight from them.
Sometimes, they will have already cleaned fish with the salmon roe sold separately. Sometimes, if you buy the whole female fish during spawning season it will have the fish eggs inside.
Tips for Success when making caviar at home –
- Try to avoid using metal utensils when making caviar. Wooden spoons and glass bowls are the best since they do not oxidize the salmon roe.
- If at all possible, use filtered water to clean and process the salmon roe. Fish eggs take on extra water very easily by the process of osmosis, so using chemical ladened tap water can have a negative impact on the delicate taste of salmon caviar.
Homemade Salmon Caviar Recipe
Salmon Roe Recipe
- Set a large bowl in the sink, fill it with warm water, and set a colander or sieve into/over it.
- Make one tear along 1 skein lengthwise exposing the roe inside. Place the skein inside the colander and allow the warmth of the water to help shrink the outside membrane of the skein and free up some of the fish eggs. The roe might become opaque in color, do not worry this is ok.
- Gently, using your fingers continue freeing up more roe from the sack. When all of it is out, raise the sieve with the fish eggs up and down, rinsing out the impurities. Then pick out the rest of the impurities by hand. You can drain the water and add more clean water to further clean out the roe. Remove the sieve with the roe to a clean dry bowl.
- Meanwhile make the brine: in a bowl that would fit the sieve inside stir 3 cups water and 1/2 cup kosher salt until the salt is dissolved.
- Lower the sieve with the cleansed roe into the brine. Allow to sit for several minutes or until it is salted to your liking. I kept the roe in the brine for about 3 minutes.
- Raise the sieve out of the brine and transfer the salmon caviar to a paper towel to absorb the extra liquid. Then, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.
How to Eat Caviar and what to serve with caviar?
- Serve Salmon Caviar with some buttered toast like shown in pictures above
- Top Soft scrambled eggs with some Salmon Caviar
- Serve Caviar along with sour cream and these Blini’s
- Top Potato Latke’s (Draniki) with some Sour cream and this Salmon Caviar
How long does caviar last?
Freshly made caviar is best eaten fresh within 2-3 days. Make sure to keep it covered and refrigerated and of course, do not double dip your spoon when getting caviar out of the container, or it will go bad even faster.
Homemade Salmon Caviar Recipe
How to make Salmon Roe to Caviar Recipe - learn about the steps involved in getting the fish eggs to go from roe to caviar. The process is easy and simple, but you do need to have a little "know-how" and I am here tell you all you need to know.
- 1 Fresh Skein with Roe
- 1 gallon Hot water For rinsing
- 1/2 cup Salt
- 3 cups cold water
- Large Bowl
- Large holed sieve/colander
- Glass Jar (for storage)
Set a large bowl in the sink, fill it with warm water and set a colander or sieve into it. Make one tear along 1 skein lengthwise exposing the roe inside.
Place the skein inside the colander and allow the warmth of the water help shrink the outside membrane of the skein and free up some of the fish eggs. The roe might become opaque in color, do not worry this is ok.
Gently, using your fingers continue freeing up more roe from the sack. When all of it is out, raise the sieve with the fish eggs up and down, rinsing out the impurities. Then pick out the rest of them by hand. You can drain the water and add more clean water to further clean out the roe. Remove the sieve with the roe to a clean dry bowl.
Meanwhile make the brine: in a bowl that would fit the sieve inside stir 3 cups water and 1/2 cup kosher salt until the salt is dissolved.
Lower the sieve with the cleansed roe into the brine. Allow to sit for several minutes or until it is salted to your liking. I kept the roe in the brine for about 3 minutes.
Raise the sieve from the brine and transfer the salmon caviar to a paper towel to absorb extra liquid. Then, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.
- When the hot water is poured over the fish roe, the color might change from clear orange to opaque orange. The caviar will change back to normal color and clarity once in the brine.
- If the caviar gets too salty, rinse it out with water or set it into a bowl of water until it has reached desired saltiness.
Thank you for following me on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest!
Hashtag your photos #LetTheBakingBeginBlog so I can see your creations and for a chance to be featured!
Updating an old post:
Thankfully, more and more entrepreneurs are farm-raising sturgeon or closely related species…even in the US…so maybe the prices will drop, and the sturgeon won’t go extinct. I’ve also seen attempts at milking the eggs out, as well as actual surgery, to remove the eggs, without killing the adult female.
I think your method is good for the home cook, but I’ve watched pros salt the eggs and that was all they did: Literally just sprinkle a bunch of salt on the eggs and mix them. Of course, they know how much to add so it is enough, but not too much.
followed the instructions but warm water and manipulation failed to free eggs from skein – tried it 4 days after fish was caught – kept eggs on ice or in fridge continually – would the 4 day delay make a difference in getting them out – skeins would not break and as I tried articulating them more aggressively eggs started breaking – that’s when I gave up – recommendation ?
No, the 4 days won’t effect how easily it frees up.
I would try hot water instead, as you pour it over the skeins it will shrink the outside and force the roe out.
I use 5/16 to 3/8 hardware cloth, or vent screen! Place over a bowl with COLD water I rub this skeins on the vent screen until completely separated! Then I rinse, rinse, rinse, and use a handheld strainer to rinse some more, until most skein is gone! Then put them in the brine! I’ve also used Vegetable grills from the Walmart bbq section, to rub the skeins on! They come in packs of 3 and have a diamond shaped mesh! I never use hot water always Cold for this whole process! Only use some hot, to dissolve the salt for the brine!
I think what Mike Karron was referring to, when he offered his opinion about your level of knowledgable-ness, was your assertion that “sometimes you will just have to buy the whole fish and hope that it has fish eggs inside”. What he said was that the “hens”, or female salmon, were visibly different from the “cocks”, or male salmon. A person having a certain degree of familiarity with fish in its natural state could conceivably buy a whole fish and at least know its gender; and assuming the fish was caught or harvested during spawning season, it would be reasonable to expect roe in a female salmon.
Oh, I see what you mean. I did mention earlier in the post about only female fish having the roe, but in that particular paragraph about “where to buy the fish” I was pretty vague.
Thank you for providing more info and clarification, Jess!
I love Salmon Season! I usually do @ 10/15 batches of Cavair a year, If I’m lucky!
This recipe is great!
Cavair and Peanut Butter on crackers is one of my favorites!
Thanks for your feedback! Caviar and Peanut butter is a new combo to me, I’ll have to try it sometime!
After preparing the salmon caviar (from a fresh caught fish) how long does the salmon caviar last or keep in the fridge?
I would try to use it within a week. If not, just freeze it until you’re ready to eat it. Then thaw it in the fridge and use within a week.
Hi!! Super easy recipe to follow. One question: how long is the salmon caviar good for?
Thank you Yuliya!
I would try to eat it or freeze it within a week after making it, as it’s very perishable.
I found your recipe pretty good! You seemed a little un-knowledgeable About the salmon. Only the females/hens Have eggs. The females Are noticeably different from the males. Depending on the species the males usually have a hooked “nose” And a mouth full of teeth the Longer they’ve been preparing to Spawn. Thanks
I did mention that the fish eggs are inside the female’s bellies, may be you missed it? 🙂
Thank you for your comment!
Wow, I didn’t know that only sturgeon caviar can be called “caviar” and others have to be specified by the type of fish they came from! Thank you for sharing!”
I am so happy you posted this! I like grilled salmon, but cooked…not so much. This looks excellent! Thank you!
Marina, gorgeous photos of salmon caviar! I love it, especially with crepes and sour cream. By the way, I just published a recipe for medovik tort – thought I’d let you know since you’re such an accomplished baker of so many gorgeous cakes! Of course, medovik does not compare to lots of your creations, but nevertheless… 🙂 I made it with cooked flour frosting.
Thank you Julia! It’s kind of interesting that I love caviar and I love crepes but I’ve never had them together)) I should try it some time 🙂
Your cake was amazing!