Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Pea" tangent: Making caviar from fish's peas

Making caviar from fish's peas
(According to the University of California, Davis
Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program
Leaflet W-21114)


Caviar can be made from the eggs of a number of fish including salmon, mullet, herring, sturgeon, steelhead, striped bass, and shad.

WARNING: The eggs of cabezon are poisonous and should not be eaten.

1. Use fresh eggs that are less than 24 hours old. A heavy oily aroma is natural, but if any odor of spoilage is present, do not use the eggs for caviar.
2. Gently remove individual eggs from the skein and place them in a bowl. You will probably get about 1-1/2 cups of eggs from a ½-pound skein. As you pick out the eggs, remove and discard pieces of membrane, blood, and bits of intestine or black skin.
3. For each 1 or 2 cups of cleaned eggs, add 1/2-cup salt to 2 cups cold water in a large bowl and stir until salt is dissolved.
4. Pour eggs into brine. Swirl eggs and let stand 30 minutes to firm and absorb salt. Remove any membrane pieces found.
5. Pour caviar into a strainer. Rinse in cold water, and drain. Pick out remaining membrane.
6. Store caviar in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Caviar can be kept several weeks, or as long as the flavor is pleasant.
7. Serve caviar chilled. Nest the serving bowl in a larger bowl of crushed ice, and serve with un- salted crackers or toast spread with sweet butter or sour cream.

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