Some Grant MacEwan University students were at my house the other day doing a photo doc about me, and my dad showed up with a box of 9 perch he’d caught. One of them was a giant 14.5″ long [the fish, not the student], and weighed 830g. The roe sac in the thing was giant, filling my open hand. In fact, every single one of them was female, and I removed all the roe sacs, adding up to a whopping half-kilo+ of perch roe. That’s a lot of roe. What on earth was I going to do with that much roe.
The man who guided me last month for Episode 26, and as a consequence got me hooked on this ice fishing thing [I’ve gone every single week since then], suggested frying the roe until crispy. Sounded interesting – I’d only ever cooked roe until just done. Crispy things, generally speaking, are tasty. As it turns out, fish eggs take a long time to get crispy – but they do. They also pop all over, many an egg making an escape from the pan like popcorn might do without a lid. I recommend covering the pan with a screen. I added a bit of red onion, salt, and it definitely benefited from some pepper. Happened to have some re-fried mashed potato to go with it, and those to things get along. Fried eggs and potatoes, outside the box. The cous-cous-like fish eggs kind of end up like a fried breadcrumb topping, which is very pleasant. I would do this again, but would love to try it when there are fresh chives, parsley, maybe some chervil in the garden to finish and toss them with. More roe R&D is on its way soon.
How about a deep fryer?
Deep fried roe. I like how you think.
Fresh roe is a great source of protein and if cooked properly, it is definitely deelish!! Lake Nipissing is huge for perch, and there is a large amount of the specie in our waters (when you can’t catch the pickerel/walley). And you’re right…there is plenty of roe this time of year! Don’t knock the sack, till ya try it! :)
Sounds fantastic, Kevin.
Wow, how interesting. We have never kept the roe of fish for anything but we will now. Thanks.
Lana – I figure if you like fish, roe isn’t much of a reach. Glad to hear from ON, Lake Nipissing looks like a big and lovely lake.
Allan – thanks.
Becky – even if you only try it, it will make my day.
Are there any attempts at curing roe in the future?
Crispy roe sounds delicious!
My mum makes a spicy fried roe. Marinate the roe in cayenne powder, vinegar, salt and pepper (all to taste), rubbing the marinade all over, ideally overnight. Fry on a fairly high heat the next day. Tastes awesome with spiced lentils. My kind of comfort food :)
I am somehow surprised about all the questions and fuss aboiut it. As long as I remember and that goes a long way, I was always saving and frying the roe from any fish I caught, most of the time it was pike. By they way, I was also fryig pike liver which at big fish may be large enough to try. But roe I would never fry until it is crisp. Indeed, it will burst but also you basically destroy so many precious nutrients that are in fish eggs. I just try for as long as it takes heat to go through, as for the fish the roe will also change colour. But if it is undercooked, even better. Why are we afraid to eat fresh eggs???? To me it was always best part of fish.
We just bought some yellow perch from a fish monger locally. Some of the perch are loaded with roe. Would this roe be safe to prepare and eat, not knowing how old the perch were? The monger told us they were locally caught in the Chesapeake Bay area but did not say when they received them or when they were actually caught.