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92 responses to “How to Make Caviar”

  1. jae/gene

    Thanks for the tips, I’m gonna make some sturgeon Caviar tonight. Again, Thanks

  2. A tasty treat | Going Forward

    […] any of you have access to fresh steelhead roe, you might want to try making your own caviar with this recipe. It certainly looks easy enough, and the results are […]

  3. nick

    great article – wondering if same process holds true for freshwater – out of tributaries as well as from Lake Michigan. The brown trout roe looks wonderful, but I have yet to prepare it…

  4. scott

    I caught a trout today and when I opened it up there were orange eggs but not like in the pic above, all bunched together held in the membrane, just a few…maybe a small spoon full but they were “floating” loose inside. Whats up with that? I was fishing the lake not a river. Could it be she had gone up stream laid most of the eggs and some how got back down in the lake? Im still gonna try to cure the eggs :)

  5. Carol

    I just got back from a week in the Eastern Sierras, did a lot of hiking and fishing, was lucky enough to catch 4 wild rainbow trout full of roe. I didn’t have an internet connection so worked mostly from memory of this post in making caviar…didn’t bother removing the membranes so it was a very simple procedure…wasn’t too worried about parasites but brined the fish overnight in salt water with a pinch of sugar and a dash of soy sauce, then diluted the brine shortly before draining and serving the caviar to get rid of excess saltiness. With boiled potatoes, sour cream enlivened with chopped wild onions, and a drop of lemon juice, it was our most memorable camping meal! And it looked as beautiful as it tasted.

  6. Larry Cywin

    Will this process work with bowfin as well?

  7. Lisa

    I am in Alaska and caught my first salmon (reds) this week. I didn’t have a good recipe, but I did the brine overnight then warm water to finish getting the membrane off. It really worked. they are clear with the dark yoke showing through the translucent egg sack. What fun.
    Having never eaten caviar before, I think it will make a good accent to a dish. (it’s a bit salty maybe because I brined overnight

  8. Jennie Alice

    Just did this with the king I caught and it turned out great. I’d say my yield was rather low (perhaps) as a lot of the eggs popped when I was separating them, but the finished product tastes amazing. I let them soak just shy of 5 minutes for the second brining–any longer would’ve been too salty for me. I’ll certainly be saving the skeins from now on.

  9. Jim

    Scott, the trout you caught had egg’s in her from last year’s spawning. They didn’t get ejected. Any one know of a roe recipe that will last a long time?? Thanks, Jim

  10. Mel Malcolm

    Hmmm…my King salmon eggs didn’t clear up; they stayed very orange. They still tasted amazing, but I was hoping for the pretty clear look. Any suggestions? Also, I love this recipe, so simple! Thank you!

  11. Kevin Pidone

    I’ve made this twice now using Pink Salmon roe over the last two weeks. Absolutely fabulous!! English Muffin spread with mashed avocado and caviar on top. Yum and nice looking too!!!

  12. Jennifer

    I just tried this recipe with silver (coho) salmon that I caught this morning. Wow. Absolutely delicious. And I love it that you can adjust the saltiness to taste. Now I really can’t wait to get out fishing again because I definitely want to make more caviar. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  13. Jeff Craig

    I live in Cordova, Alaska, and eat Coho – Silver Salmon eggs as caviar all the time and love the little jewels,…I do mine a bit differently however and to a way I think that many of you will love. I start off with fresh skeins of roe, smoke them for 6 – 7 hrs in Alder (cold smoking only), then with warm water, 105 – 115F, separate the eggs from the skeins in the sink gently into a fine screen sieve. Then I place the eggs into a bowl and fill with cold water several times until I have all of the shells and membrane washed out of the eggs. I have also made a 100% brine solution with ice that I place the separated eggs into and stir gently until the eggs fall to the bottom. Then I drain them off and rinse with cold water which will find more shells that got by earlier. Keep tasting through this process until you get the saltiness you are after. The caviar will still last 2 – 3 weeks in the refrigerator. You will also have a product that folks will rave about,…Even those that thought they would never try them. Unsmoked is also great!

  14. Janet

    Has anyone tried making “caviar” with lionfish eggs? I’m organizing an invasive species cook-off and would love to include “caviar”. Please let me know.

  15. Jennifer

    Thanks for the recipe! I shared it with the listeners of My Yukon Life podcast radio.

  16. Oliver

    Ha – two Yukoners stumble upon this independently within a day of each other. I just tried this for the first time with a lake whitefish I caught this evening in Little Atlin Lake (I’d have liked more than one, but they’re no longer as findable as they were through the summer); golden caviar, with lovely delicate lake and cucumber essence, delivered in salty little pops. I suspect I’ll make this again (and try it out with some larger eggs from different species, too).

    Jennifer, your silver caviar looks amazing!

  17. Gardenisto

    Just pulled a large Mountain Whitefish from a river while visiting/fishing Wyoming. It was loaded with eggs. Anyone see a reason why this wouldn’t work for a Mountain Whitefish. Thanks!

  18. Norm Brewer

    We caught some Lake Superior whitefish that are full of eggs. Do you have any other suggestions on how to make caviar out of them? Norm

  19. Eric

    To the gentleman inquiring about bowfin. This is my coonass caviar method: to remove the roe use a grease splatter screen over a bowl. Rub the skein gently around in a circular motion, until they fall through. Wash the roe in water, using your finger to stir the mass. Skim off the water and repeat until clean. Now for the brine, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup water, 1 dash of cayenne pepper, a spritz of lemon. Let the roe soak for and hour, strain off the water, I use a coffee filter in a colander. Taste, if too salty rinse with a little cold water. Once it’s to your liking, use multiple layers of paper towels to dry and place in a suitable container and refrigerate.

  20. paul

    Is there anyone who has tried fresh water perch roe. I used to cure and devour herring roe while commercial fishing Alaska in a former life. I am going to try the curing/smoking recipe just to experiment. After filleting a nice catch of fresh water perch the roe just looked way to good to discard

  21. stephen

    would like to know if it is damaging or even possible to freeze the eggs sometime in the process. more in the interest to deal with parasites than anything else.
    my interest is mainly smelt/whitefish/salmon from inland lakes.

    also is it possible to store frozen eggs? it seems i have seen some in the grocery store.

  22. stephen

    how about, processing fresh first. once its finished then freeze.
    other method im interested in testing, is similar to how human or other animal reproductive eggs are harvested and stored. to combat freeze damage, they are stored in glucose i believe. but that might interfere with what ever kills any parasites. any thoughts?

  23. Marianne

    Is it just salt used to preserve? Does anyone use Borax?
    If the eggs are frozen to store does the glucose affect the flavour
    when thawed?

  24. “Summer” Fishing Trip: Snow, Thunder, Grayling, and Caviar « Partridge, Pine, and Peavey

    […] eggs. Not ones to waste food or show any disrespect towards the lives we took, we decided to make caviar, which we enjoyed for lunch the next day along with bread and cheese. If only we’d had brie […]

  25. John B

    I use the hot water method to get the eggs free of the skeins…and think it works the best.

    I have “canned” some of my excess product. I hot water bath the small jars (8-10 oz) with a temp probe in the middle. When temp hits 140 I put the lids on and screw them down lightly. I then put a cover over the pan and simmmer them an additional 5 minutes, and then using a towel for heat protection screw the lids down firmly/tight. I leave them on the counter to check for a vaccum/tight seal, and then keep them in the frig in the coldest part till opening and using them.

    It does give them a lighter orange color if using salmon roe, and it isn’t as good as fresh, but it does give me caviar year round.

    Jars that don’t “seal” I use up within a few weeks.

  26. Pete Cornwell

    Thank you for your simple recipe. We sometimes go one step simpler by eating the roe straight from the landlocked salmon, the Maine state fish…..but it is a little more civilized your way.

  27. Jay Lott

    As for the question as to whether caviar can be frozen, yes it can. I have eaten whitefish caviar (easy to get here in NE Wisconsin) after it was frozen and then thawed. It was excellent. You might need to rinse it and drain it before use, otherwise it’s a little slimy.

    I would be interested to hear if others have frozen other kinds of homemade caviar and what were the results.

  28. culp

    I have cought a lot of ripe hen steelhead in my day, and I hate seeing a hen spit her eggs out as I try to get the fly out of her mouth. Would those eggs works and taste the same as the eggs in skein?

  29. T.L.Winderweedle

    Bluegills,Redears,and all types of Perch Roe make good Caviar with the best coming from Black Crappie & Sac-a-Lait. Catfish Roe is plentiful and easy to work with from Blue Channel,Channel,and Flathead (“Opps”) Catfish.Here in Louisiana we are still allowed to Catch Two Spoonbills per person and you know that is good. Never tried it Bowfin (“Choupique”)but I don’t see why not! All of this Roe can be battered and deep fried if you want to try it. Catfish Roe can be lightly smoked before salting,but don’t dry it out! My Grandfather,born on a houseboat on the Atchafalaya River,told me that the Roe of ALL Garfish was poisionus and he would not mess with it.So I don’t either.

  30. zoya888

    Thank you for sharing. The one thing I would caution about is that using anything metal (bowl, strainer, spoon, storage container) will transfer some metallic taste to the roe. Best to stick with plastic strainer, plastic or glass bowl/tub for cleaning; plastic or wooden spoon for stirring.

  31. Anh

    Dear friends
    How could I prepare snail caviar? Can I use this guide and apply to snail eggs to make caviar?

  32. Tom Modin

    Do you feel this process will work well with paddlefish roe? We do catch some females who are laden with roe later in the season here in Missouri. I would like to at least try it and have my family try this. I have eaten sturgeon caviar in the past and enjoyed it.

  33. Jason Johnson

    Tried this last weekend with some fresh steelhead row from the Rogue River in Oregon. OMG! So, so surprisingly good. Thanks for this. Love your site, even more so, since I lived in Woodland for 5 years and often recognize the places you write about. Loved your episode of Bourdain’s show. Keep up the great writing. You’re on a righteous mission.

  34. Keith

    I am going sturgeon fishing later this month and hope to catch one in the keeper range of the slot. How long from taking the fish to making the caviar? How do I transport the roe from where we catch the fish and spend the night and make the 5 hour trip home? The fish we’ll pack with ice in a large plastic bag, hopefully in a large enough cooler to hold it. Just wondering how much we’ll get from a 4ft sturgeon…..

  35. Brad

    Hank I will be on Lake Michigan fishing King Salmon this weekend. I’ve heard that there could be parasites in fresh water fish? Any thoughts on this or can I use the roe from these kings to make caviar?

  36. Amy Reidell

    I just tried this method and the caviar was very tasty. I was wondering if you have found a way to preserve for later use since last year…either by canning or freezing methods. I have over 3 gallons of roe and when I have just frozen the eggs, they don’t look good. Was hoping freezing or canning processed caviar would have a different outcome. If not, will just have to enjoy now and leave it at that.

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