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I just tried shad roe!

shad roe
Posted by on April 28, 2011

Shad roe was a new one for me. When I asked for it in my local fish market, I was expecting some sort of a grouping of transparent fish eggs: it looked more like a bloody liver! I say bloody because it literally looked the color of blood and like an organ. Then again, it is an organ. It is the membrane or sack that holds the fish egg. Again, wasn’t expecting that.

I asked the counter guy how to cook it, and he said a little flour, salt and pepper and sauteed it. At home, I put Sally (Nourishing Traditions) on the job. Her book said to boil and then simmer in water, salt and vinegar; then to top with some butter, paprika and broil till brown.

I had just finished cooking some scallops in butter, so with the remaining pan drippings (after the simmering in the water/vinegar/salt mixture), I simply sauteed the roe. I loved it!

I know, I know: I’m always sounding the trumpet for real, traditional food, so why the big deal? It was just a reminder of how important it is to keep reaching; keep trying new things: food and otherwise. There’s always something new out there, and being American is no excuse to not find culture in our own surroundings.

Shad roe has a long history in the Northeast, and is a delicacy only left to the Spring. I hope my adventure will prompt your own!

I’d love to hear if you’ve ever tried shad roe, and any thoughts you may have on it!

This post is part of Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist!

10 Responses to I just tried shad roe!

  1. Alicia

    Never tried it, but would LOVE to…My husband loves roe and used to have it often when he lived in Florida…

  2. theorganicchickenlady

    It looked quite gruesome(spelling) on the plate. I have heard of it, but like you, I would have thought it to be fish eggs. Nah! I take your word for it that it was delicious. But for now I think I’ll pass.

  3. Melissa @ Dyno-m,om

    I have been wanting to try shad roe but I live in land-locked Colorado. I suppose I could find a place but it can be intimidating to ask for something when you aren’t really sure about it at all. I now have the courage. Thanks! By the way, I stopped over from Monday Mania.

    • nourishingnancy

      Well, thanks for stopping by Melissa! Hope you can find this delicacy; it’s worth pursuing.

  4. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Nanc, I’ve never tried shad roe, but I am totally game! Thanks for sharing this neat idea at Monday Mania this week. I am going to have to ask about this next time I visit my fish monger.

    • nourishingnancy

      So cool, Sarah. I think you’d love it! It’s kind of a craving thing with me now. Weird maybe, but I have been having little pieces of it in the morning too. I could only get my son and oldest daughter to take a few bites, but, honestly, it was delicious. Use lots of butter when cooking, because it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in.

  5. David Brainard

    Every year I catch lots of shad for the fun of it and for crab bait. The one thing that I do eat is the roe. I par boil the roe for about five minutes and then fry it lightly in olive oil. It’s great. I never eat the purple roe that you tried because to me it doesn’t look good. The fattest mature shad have orange eggs which are more developed.

    • nourishingnancy

      Hi David,
      Now I wish my fish store had that fat orange egged version you had! I did love the purple one, though. I actually get a craving for it quite often, but I’ll have to wait till next year I guess. Where are you from, David? I’m wondering if that is a different type because of a different locale?

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