Eating More Nutrient-Dense Foods (Yes, I Really Tried Fish Eggs)

fresh-fish-roe

It’s difficult to read Weston A. Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, without having a sudden urge to bolt to the store for some fish eggs and liver.

No, really. It is. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

After spending more than a week devouring this fascinating book full of Dr. Price’s nutritional research and investigations into exactly what it was that made native, isolated populations eating traditional foods so very healthy, I was inspired. These traditional people valued fish eggs (among many other foods, like organ meats, shellfish, milk and cream from pastured cows, etc.) because they are rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, as well as many other nutrients especially minerals. I decided that if they valued them so highly, perhaps I should at least give them a shot!

I tried looking for them in the seafood section of my regular grocery store, but when I asked the staff there they just said “nooooo…”, gave me a look that said “did you know that you’re really strange?” and I realized I’d need to go outside of my regular stomping grounds. I asked a friend and she suggested trying an Asian market- of course! Why didn’t I think of that?

Abbie and I went out on a little shopping “date” to our favorite, nearby Korean grocery store. I’ve gone there before to buy seaweed paper and coconut sugar. I had never thought of going there for seafood, but now I intend to go back once a month for that very purpose! Not only did I find my precious fish eggs, but I also found several other types of fish at excellent prices.

You can see up above the fish eggs, or roe, that I chose. There were 3 varieties, and I really had no idea what was what. I chose these Flying Fish Roe because the sweet man behind the fish counter said they were good. Sure, I figured. Why not? Fish eggs are fish eggs, aren’t they? I’m sure they all taste, umm… fishy (which is just fine with me).

A little unsure, I brought my treasure home (which I couldn’t believe how cheaply I had gotten, by the way) and sat there looking at it for a little while. Exactly what does one do with fish eggs?

fish-roe-on-crackers

Here’s my attempt at gourmet. Ryvita crackers, with homemade raw cream cheese, and little fish eggies sprinkled on top. Pretty, isn’t it?

And the verdict? Edible, but maybe we need to keep looking for a better way to get these little babies down. The slightly sour cream cheese didn’t mesh well with the odd sweetness of the eggs. I’m in definite need of ideas and inspiration!

(On a side note, my husband just came into the office, laughed at my post title, and informed me that I have, in fact, eaten fish eggs before. In Japan. Certain kinds of maki or rolled sushi have roe added to them. Guess I forgot, or at least they weren’t that memorable. So perhaps making sushi rolls and adding fish eggs is in my near future?)

Tell me… have you tried fish eggs? Thoughts? Ideas for getting them down? What other nutrient-dense but uncommon foods have you eaten lately?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. I’m from a coastal region in India. Cuisines vary drastically across India, but where I come from, traditionally, fish eggs are mixed with lots of freshly grated coconut, curry leaves, turmeric powder, salt and green chillies, and cooked pressed between leaves, or scrambled. But mostly I get just a spoon or two of fish eggs (from inside the fish I buy), so I find it easier and tastier to sprinkle some salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder over the fish eggs, and gently pan fry in a little bit of coconut oil. Yum.

  2. Shannan says:

    I like tobiko on sushi rolls and in seaweed salad

  3. My best friend is Russian and every year during New Years, the most important holiday, it is a tradition to have red or black caviar piled on slices of liberally-buttered french bread, with a little bit of lemon juice squeezed on top. And it is so. good. I love going to her house for New Year’s Eve and eating the caviar, because it’s something that’s worth waiting all year for.

  4. One traditional recipe is roe cakes. Might be worth a try?

    (google translated recipe. Some funny words, but it should be understandable)
    http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=no&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=no&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.godfisk.no%2FOppskrifter%2FNorge%2FRognkaker&act=url

  5. When I was in Japan for study abroad, these were how I saw it done in restaurants and konbini.
    Mix the tobiko (flying fish roe) into sushi rice, then shape into onigiri and roll in surigoma (ground sesame seeds) or wrap in nori. Use it to garnish tuna salad.
    Ikura (salmon roe) can go in onigiri, or make “sake oyakodon”.
    Both work great in temakizushi.

  6. My husband and I love to fish. Since I don’t like to waste anything, we decided to start eating the eggs as well. My favorite recipe so far is to scramble 2 chicken eggs (from my own chickens), one egg sack from the fish, and a little milk. I dice a little onion and garlic and cook it just for a minute with some rosemary and pepper then add my egg mixture. My son likes to add a little ketchup. It is delicious!

  7. The problem with flying fish roe (tabiko) is that while it’s about the most delicious thing ever in my opinion, I’ve yet to find it undyed and unflavored! :( Apparently, salmon roe is naturally bright orange, but tabiko or flying fish roe is not.

    If I could find natural flying fish roe for an affordable price, I would stock my freezer (roe freezes well apperntly) and eat it on rice and sushi and plain with tamari, and just devour it. But I’m not sure it’s worth it health wise since it’s dyed AND FLAVORED with MSG :( :( *cries*

    I bought some salmon roe, since it was undyed the guy at our local asian fish market said, and ewwwww. it’s so fishy!! any ideas for disguising the taste? I don’t want to ruin a perfect and expensive pastured chicken egg by making a fish egg scramble and having it taste too fishy.

  8. We use fish eggs for bait — works pretty well!

    Trixie
    .-= Trixie´s last blog ..Eat From The Pantry Challenge: Week 4 =-.

  9. Back in my native Ukraine, caviar is considered luxury delicacy. It is expansive and difficult to find (well, nowadays probably not, but back when I lived there). I’ve tried both red and black caviar, but I could never understand what was so special about it. Actually, the black one does taste better then the red one, but still it isn’t that great. In Ukraine/Russia it’s usually eaten on a cracker with butter.
    .-= Olga´s last blog ..After the Storm =-.

  10. I was going to say eat the roe on sushi! my husband LOVES it, he thinks it adds some sweetness to it. I’ve never had the guts to try it, but unfortunately I’m too picky to eat sushi, except when I know it’s fresh caught fish.
    Not sure how you prefer your rolls but we like the rice on the outside, that said, a lot of times they put the roe on top of the rice. :)

  11. Glenda Simpson says:

    Hi, Just had to respond to this. I’m from coastal NC and have been eating fish eggs, roe, all of my life. They are wonderful scrambled with eggs, use a bit of bacon grease, butter, or oil and scramble the fish roe and eggs together–add a pinch of salt and pepper. Herring roe, canned, is what I have eaten, and it is quite expensive, almost $5.00 for a small can of maybe, 10 oz. They are difficult to find out season (spring) Hope you’all like this!! Glenda

  12. Yes, I have tried salmon eggs before! When I was just out of high school, I worked a couple summers in a salmon cannery in Bristol Bay, Alaska. I worked in what was called the Egg House, where we packaged all the salmon roe to send to buyers in Japan. I thought the eggs tasted like mushy salt, not really that bad but the texture is kind of weird :)

  13. One thing’s for sure–your blog just keeps getting weirder and weirder.. I mean that in a good way. I hope I don’t get stuck in a rut. My dad used to buy those red eggs for making bait for the big fish. I never thought about eating them. I can picture them being rolled up in scraps of my mom’s nylons.. for the big fishing trip. And how is your husband doing?
    .-= Jena´s last blog ..You’re a weak skinny one.. =-.

  14. My husband and I LOVE roe!!! Maybe not all kinds, and we’re both a little afraid of “caviar”, though we aren’t sure that is a founded fear.

    We love sushi, and we always try to get at least one roll with roe on piled on top when we go. The only ones we’ve had are the same color as yours… yum! I just love the way they pop between your teeth.

    We’ve never tried them at home or apart from sushi, but perhaps we should. I didn’t know they were healthy!

  15. We’ve splurged on caviar from Whole Foods twice before (for anniversaries, etc) and we love eating it just plain on cucumber rounds, or sprinkled on top of deviled eggs! We’ve had the yellow and red caviar (can’t remember what kinds of fish they come from) and they are super-salty, but tasty!

  16. The only time I have roe is when it comes on seaweed salad that I get whenever we go to a Japanese resturaunt. And I don’t even notice it is on there since the salad is so yummy! Perhaps you could start making seaweed salad and add the roe to that?

  17. Hi there! I am an American living in Japan. I’ll see if I can round up some recipes for you. I know many friends here who eat fish eggs. Maybe I can find some tastey ones for you?!

    Enjoy!

  18. http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/fish/caviar/red-caviar-recipes.asp

    This is a link to an article about caviar. I was looking for a soup similar to one that we were served at a New Year’s Eve dinner a couple years ago. The soup was thick and served with the caviar just spooned into the middle of the bowl. It was my first try of caviar and I really loved it!
    Anyway, the link seems to have some other interesting ways to try caviar, even if they only serve to inspire you.

  19. We live in the Pacific Northwest and although we are not Native Americans we were invited to an authentic meal in the tribal longhouse when my son was about nine months old. We filled our plates with elk and salmon eggs and other such traditional foods although at that time I didn’t appreciate them as I would have now. I was somewhat shocked when my baby started grabbing the salmon eggs and stuffing them into his mouth! So, what is my favorite use for fish eggs? I would definitely say… finger food for babies. I think that Nina Planck talks about that in her book as well. I think that instead of trying to find an Asian market, I just need to re-visit my native friends. When the rivers are full of spawning salmon, they are out, stripping eggs and tossing the salmon carcasses away.

  20. This might sound crazy… but I grew up in Florida and we use to catch our own fish from the Gulf of Mexico and whenever there was roe in a fish, my dad would leave it intact in the sac and deep fry it.

    It COMPLETELY changes the texture when it’s cooked and has a wonderful flavor – however, I have no idea what kind of fish it was from! I also realize it definitely changes the nutrient values (as I’m sure the whole point of this trial is to eat them raw because of the nutrient value), but it could be something to look into. It might be interesting to research how pan frying them in coconut (or some other healthy) oil would change their nutritional value.

    I found this info. wikipedia about different preparations and types of roe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe

  21. We like eating fish eggs, or caviar, usually we spread butter on a piece of toast and sprinkle with fish eggs, while we to tea time. But it does take time to get used to it, and knowing that its good for you makes all the difference.

  22. I LOVE LOVE LOVE sushi, and the rolls with the fish eggs are fantastic! That’s the only way I’d ever eaten them though :) I’m about to move to the middle of nowhere in Alberta, and am really going to miss my sushi :(

  23. I am a korean adoptee married to a Korean American. The korean cooking I have learned actually takes advantage of many animal organs, fish roe (although not this kind) and bone broth soups, and fermented bean pastes. Interesting that it seems from your commenters that this seems to be similar to Dr. Price’s diet philosophy. I’d love to share with you some of these Korean recipes if you’d like. (Everyone makes their dish a bit different according to family tradition it seems. And I have only found one “more authentic” Korean cookbook in English. I don’t speak Korean.)
    I guess I am lucky that I love the creamy taste of liver, (although some kinds need to be prepared carefully) and fish roe since they seem to be healthy choices.
    I’ve only had this type of roe on sushi rolls of all kinds. I buy sushi grade fish meat from the Korean market. It is expensive, but I trust it more. If you have a local fish monger anywhere, they would be an even better source and could tell you if the fish is wild caught, or farmed, or what. The workers at my Korean super market only speak spanish and don’t know where anything comes from. You can buy seaweed unseasoned in sheets for making rolls, add the other veggies others have suggested, imitation crab, or cooked fish. Or as Koreans, we make rice bowls that have a bunch of things on it, such as raw fish, fish roe, seaweed seasoned with sesame oil and sea salt, lettuce, bell pepper, and korean green pepper (careful some are spicy.)
    anyway, I am rambling, and saying what others just wrote. I wish you luck in this new culinary corner! And my friend Marci at Overcoming Busy.com sent me an e-mail about your post! Best, Abbie