5 Things About Ikura: Sushi Ingredient

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Source: Adam Chamness

Salmon Roe (Red Caviar), or commonly called as the ikura in Japan, are the large jewel-like reddish-orange balls (salmon eggs), which make for a great addition to a delightful sushi dinner. No matter the size, these delicious salmon eggs are full of flavors and that popping sensation feels just like the ocean liqueur. They are commonly eaten in sushi rolls or as toppings on white rice, coated with sheets of seaweed.

1. Red Caviar

Red Caviar
Source: Adonis Chen

Red Caviar is commonly called as Salmon Roe, which is harvested from different kinds of fish including salmon and prepared in so many ways depending on where you are. A Red Caviar is just called caviar in the United States, whereas in Europe, it refers to the roe of sturgeon and if prepared with any other roe, it has to be a ‘caviar substitute’. In Japan, they are served as ikura, either plainly or spread as a garnish.

2. Varieties

Fried Ikura
Source: Alpha

Roe comes from different kinds of fish, the rarest being the beluga sturgeon which is found in the Caspian Sea and is known to be expensive of all caviar. Once had a long affinity to the Russian royalty, the Sterlet is yet another species of sturgeon which is very rare. Ossetra is amongst the most prized and expensive caviars and it boasts of a rich flavor that only comes from an authentic sturgeon. Sevruga, on the other hand, is one of the higher-priced varieties of caviar that belongs to the smallest caviar-producing sturgeons.

3. How It Is Served?

It’s ideally served cold as a garnish on white rice, seasoned with soy sauce, sake and mirin. Sometimes, caviar is also accompanied with lemon wedges, sour crème, fine-cooked egg yolk, or red onions. Salmon roe makes for a perfect delight with scrambled eggs seasoned with fresh herbs. When blended with mayonnaise, caviar makes for a wonderful and delicious sauce for vegetable dip.

4. Difference between Caviar and Roe

Salmon Roe Ikura
Source: baron valium

Caviar and Roe both belong to the same thing: fish eggs. Caviar is basically a processed fish roe that belongs to a particular type of fish, the sturgeon, while roe is just a general form for fish eggs of marine animals. Depending on the country, caviar better describes the roe of other fish such as whitefish, salmon, trout, lumpfish, and other groups of sturgeon.

5. Nutritional Facts

In nutritional terms, fish eggs are rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats and fat-soluble vitamins including vitamin C, D and E, B12 and selenium. Salmon roe is also rich in proteins, with one ounce containing 6 grams of protein. They benefit for overall maintenance of body and skin vibrancy. Roe makes a great supplement food, usually in the winters.

Though tiny, Salmon roe or ikura is so rich in flavors that even the slightest bite makes you wonder if it’s for real. That popping sensation when the eggs pop on your tongue, and the aroma fills your nose, is hard to resist.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan