Curing Salmon Roe
This culinary technique will teach you how to take fresh salmon roe(eggs) and turn it into amazing salmon caviar. Curing Salmon Roe will become your go to recipe for making homemade caviar.
Servings Prep Time
16guests 5minutes
Passive Time
Servings Prep Time
16guests 5minutes
Passive Time
  1. To begin: in a stainless steel or glass bowl large enough to hold 3 ½ quarts; add the kosher salt and 3 quarts of 100°F | 38°C degree to 115°F | 46°C water, whisking until the salt has dissolved. Next, unwrap the skein or egg sack if bought from a fish market or remove from the fish if you are a fisherman. Rinse the skein under cool running water, cleaning the sack of any residual blood.
  2. You will notice a thin membrane that holds the roe in the sack.
  3. Add the sack to the brine mixture.
  4. When you add the skein to the salt brine, the membrane and eggs will turn from a clear reddish orange to a cloudy orange color.
  5. This is the salt reacting with the membrane. Make sure that the skein is fully covered by the brine. Let this sit for 30 minutes, to cure the eggs.
  6. Have a second stainless steel or glass bowl ready with a strainer or small colander. After 30 minutes, remove the skein from the brine, reserving the brine for later. Add the sack to the bowl and rinse off the brine under warm water.
  7. Next, the membrane needs to be removed. Using your fingers, pick the membrane and pull away from you, making sure the skein is under the bowl and strainer.
  8. Inside the sack are smaller membranes holding the eggs together. These also must be removed.
  9. Once all the membranes have been removed from the eggs, the eggs must be rinsed several times, to remove any other membranes that might be on each egg.
  10. A fine skimmer or other sieve will make this process.
  11. After you have removed all the membranes and rinsed the eggs well, drip the roe into the reserved salt brine again. The color of the eggs will turn from cloudy.
  12. To clear. It’s like magic.
  13. Strain the eggs out of the brine and add to a clean glass jar. This caviar should last for 7-14 days if refrigerated at 34°F | 1°C or below.
  14. To keep the caviar as long as possible, place the jar into a container of crushed ice, keeping it colder than the standard refrigerator is set too. Do not freeze the caviar or the texture will be ruined.
  15. The resulting Salmon Caviar is transparent, bright, smells and tastes of the sea, with a light briny taste, that pops when the individual eggs burst on your palate.
Recipe Notes

Curing Salmon Roe - Making CaviarTripel Cured Salmon RoeFirestone Walker Double DBA Cured Salmon Caviar

Curing Salmon Roe Variations and More Uses for this Recipe:

This recipe is simply a basic brine with not a lot of external flavor, other than the dominant essence of the salmon eggs.  If you would like to add some complexity, try the Westmalle Tripel Cured Salmon Caviar or Firestone Walker Double DBA Cured Salon Caviar recipe.  This caviar isn’t as salty as commercial caviars, which I prefer.  Because of the lack of salt and curing of the roe, this caviar will only last about 2 weeks under refrigeration.

This culinary technique can be used on other varieties fish eggs | roe.


Executive Chef: Sean Z. Paxton

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