It turns out that everybody loves the tiny eggs on top of sushi, but is it a normal ingredient or any fact behind it? Keep reading this article to decode the truth of fish eggs now!
Fish eggs are no longer a strange term for those who have an addiction to sushi worldwide. But have you ever wondered what fish eggs are and everything surrounding this cool dish? Spend a few minutes reading this post, and you will discover all the facts behind the fancy fish eggs!
What Are Fish Eggs?
Fish eggs are a catch-all for female fishy eggs, called sturgeon roe. They come from different types, such as salmon, trout, Walu fish and mackerel. Due to its enrichment of nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, fish eggs have entered the mainstream healthy food lifestyle.
Are Fish Eggs on Sushi Real?
Yes, definitely! Fish eggs on sushi are real. Although there are many types of fish eggs, most fish eggs are real once they are served with sushi.
Suppose you are a fan of this Japanese food. In that case, it’s not difficult to identify the types of roe, either the tiny tobiko with red color, spicy tarako from cod, or the crunchy yellow kazunoko from the herring species.
Moreover, you can distinguish ikura by the bigger size than the others, especially the feeling of bursting a bunch of mini water balloons in your mouth.
So, are they raw? It’s also a Yes. Cooking will destroy the unique burst that the roe gives whenever you bite them, not to mention the damage in flavor. As a result, most Japanese restaurants serve the ikura by leaving it fresh and marinated by other seasonings like soy sauce or wasabi.
What Are The Types of Fish Eggs on Sushi?
Tobiko (flying fish roe)
Tobiko, with natural red-orange color, is one of the most common toppings. It comes in a range of sizes from 0.5mm to 0.8mm, with a special crunchy feeling and mild smoky or salty taste that gets sweeter as it cools off.
The combination of tobiko with other natural ingredients is wonderful creativity of colors and flavors. You can either infuse the tobiko in squid ink to get black or turn yellow with yuzu, green with wasabi and red with the beet.
Besides adorning maki rolls, as in California, you can enjoy the tobiko as toppings on sushi or sashimi, with the avocado half or a cup of cucumber decoration per serving.
Masago (smelt roe)
Masago is the eggs of capelin, belonging to the family of smelt. It’s hard to differentiate tobiko and masago only through untrained eyes since they have alike appearing colors.
In deeper observation, smelt roe is smaller so that they can not keep the mouthfeel as crunchy as tobiko does. If any little orange piece tastes a little bitter, it can be masago.
According to head chef Masashi Ito of Sushi Zo, one of the most popular restaurants in New York, sushi bars use masago as the tobiko alternative since tobiko’s price is much higher.
Moreover, in most deluxe restaurants, you can’t find masago and tobiko particularly as the main part of any dish, but only the toppings or the decoration instead, such as putting these little eggs on the sushi.
Ikura (salmon roe)
Ikura makes a remarkable point as the largest size, compared to the two types above, and popular with the name “small orange ball”. Try breaking down these “balls’ in your mouth with a bite; the sweetness from the liquid inside definitely satisfies you and even the most fastidious diners.
Chef Ito also shares the preservation tip by salt that he applies for the Alaska frozen ikura. When it’s summer, he serves customers fresh dishes from this ikura.
It is often eaten as sashimi or atop sushi rice by rolling inside the crips seaweed layer. But, it’s also the only type among these three to represent the top of popular delicacy foods worldwide.
Salmon roe makes a delicious replacement for the over-the-top “black caviar” in several dishes. Thus, use salmon roe as the go-to ingredient instead to enhance your blinis and sour cream like some countries do, including the U.S.
Some less popular sushi fish roe include:
- Paddlefish caviar
- Whitefish caviar
- Bowfin caviar
- Black lumpfish caviar
- Trout caviar
- Tuna bottarga
What Nutrition Do Fish Eggs Include?
Fish eggs are a tasty, artery-clogging culinary dish that provides an interesting flavor. Some people love them, while others find they have an intimidating palate. They can be a great source of nutrition but also filled with cholesterol and sodium. Then, what gives?
Low saturated fat
The key is, they are healthier and more consumable than the eggs from other species due to low saturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil supplements. It is either anti-inflammatory or essential for the healthy heart and active brain.
But, it’s always better to take the nutrients from the natural source since manufacturing can destroy the good ingredients due to the high possibility of chemical oxidation.
Many fat-soluble vitamin D
Though rarely found in food, fat-soluble vitamin D is present in fishy eggs and helps the body consume the fats from omega-3 more effectively.
Vitamin B12 is also available, playing an important role in maintaining mental health and transforming energy from food.
Too, the availability of some minerals, like magnesium, calcium, and iron, also enhances the body’s nutrients.
You can collect all the nutritions listed above from all kinds of fish, such as salmon, carp, surgeons, and beluga. Besides, the diversity of size, shapes, and colors contributes a punch of creative food courses to the world.
Fish Eggs Drawbacks
Despite their high nutrition, fish eggs have drawbacks too.
Since the daily cholesterol intake for one healthy person is 300 mg, but one ounce of black caviar, you already take in more than 150 mg of cholesterol. This intake can be one of the contributing factors to heart disease.
High sodium content
The high sodium content plus adding too much salt into the food can lead to elevated blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Take note now to consider whether you absorb more than 2,399 mg of sodium per day or not.
Fish eggs provide excellent components to support your health, but they also have the opposite negative side.
So, for any food as well, the key is always the balance for the diet.
And that’s everything we can introduce about fish eggs. You may feel surprised by these incredible facts, especially the health benefits these orange balls can bring you.
Still, remember to moderate the diet so that you can enjoy the fancy fish eggs. Thank you for reading our article, and we will catch up with you soon!
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