Roe Beyond Caviar: Lesser-Known Delicacies from the Sea

Igor Fishbeyn Igor Fishbeyn
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Roe, traditionally associated with luxurious caviar, encompasses a wide array of delicacies harvested from the sea. While caviar reigns supreme in the realm of roe, there are lesser-known treasures waiting to be discovered. Explore the diverse world of roe beyond caviar, from the depths of the ocean to your plate.

The Diversity of Roe

Roe, often referred to as fish eggs or fish roe, encompasses a broad spectrum of flavors, textures, and colors. While caviar is the most renowned form of roe, there are numerous other varieties, each offering a unique gastronomic experience. From the delicate pearls of salmon roe to the briny bursts of herring roe, the diversity of roe is vast and tantalizing.

Read: Caviar Storage Directions for Unopened and Opened Caviar

Salmon Roe

Jewels of the Pacific: Salmon roe, also known as ikura in Japanese cuisine, are prized for their vibrant orange hue and plump, juicy texture. Harvested from various species of salmon, including sockeye and chum, these glistening orbs are a staple in sushi and sashimi dishes. With a burst of briny flavor reminiscent of the ocean, salmon roe add a luxurious touch to any culinary creation.


Tiny Treasures with Big Flavor: Tobiko, the roe of flying fish, may be small in size but packs a punch in flavor. These tiny, crunchy orbs come in a rainbow of colors, from fiery red to jet black, adding visual appeal to dishes. With a crisp texture and a hint of sweetness, tobiko are often used as a topping for sushi rolls or as a garnish for seafood dishes, imparting both flavor and texture.

Read: The Russian Sturgeon - Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii

Herring Roe

A Taste of Tradition: Herring roe, also known as kazunoko in Japanese cuisine, holds a special place in culinary traditions around the world. These golden-hued roe sacs are harvested from herring fish and are prized for their delicate flavor and firm texture. Often marinated in a sweet and savory sauce, herring roe are enjoyed as a delicacy during special occasions and celebrations, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.

Mullet Roe

Mediterranean Delicacy: Mullet roe, known as bottarga in Italian cuisine, is a Mediterranean delicacy with a rich history dating back centuries. Made from the salted and dried roe sacs of grey mullet fish, bottarga has a distinct umami flavor with hints of the sea. Grated over pasta or thinly sliced and served with crusty bread, mullet roe adds depth and complexity to dishes, elevating them to gourmet status.

Cod Roe

Nordic Tradition: Cod roe, also known as taramasalata in Greek cuisine, is a beloved delicacy in Nordic and Mediterranean countries alike. These creamy, pink-hued roe are brimming with oceanic flavor and are often transformed into a delectable spread or dip. Mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, cod roe becomes taramasalata, a creamy and tangy dip enjoyed with bread or crackers.


Roe, often overshadowed by the prestige of caviar, offers a world of culinary delights waiting to be explored. From the vibrant pearls of salmon roe to the crunchy bursts of tobiko, each variety of roe brings its own unique flavor and texture to the table. Whether enjoyed as a topping for sushi or as a spread for bread, roe transcends cultural boundaries, uniting seafood lovers around the globe in appreciation of its exquisite taste. Venture beyond caviar and discover the lesser-known delicacies from the sea – your taste buds will thank you.

About the Author

How to eat caviar like a professiona Igor Fishbeyn - Caviar Purveyor

Igor Fishbeyn is purveyor of fine sturgeon caviar and creator of the Skazka Caviar brand. He is an expert with decades of experience specializing in importing, wholesaling, and retailing the finest quality caviar in the world. Igor frequently writes about caviar news and various topics about the caviar industry. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

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