November 2, 2018

Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe 自製魚子幹

Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe 自製魚子幹

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to
By Published: 2018-11-02
I must confess a love for all foods preserved.  It must be the special uniquely umami taste that preserved foods have, the original taste intensified and transformed through the process of preservation and fermentation.  I have been anxious to try this particular preservation for a while, having seen the lovely preserved golden hued mullet fish roes 烏魚子 (so expensive!) available at the airport duty free shops when we have airplane layovers in Taiwan or Korea.  Thus when we discovered fresh fish roe (squeak!) at our local wet market there was nothing left to do but try making our own Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe, or  自製魚子幹.  

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to

Fresh fish roe, what a treat!  The fish vendors at the wet market cut it out of the fish as they gut and clean them and then sell the roes separately for a really good price.  Look for plump roes that have intact skins.  Great for brain power, my fish vendor assures me.  

We got an assortment of roes this time, some of them from the yellow croaker fish 黃花魚.  We've previously steamed the fresh roes, finishing with spring onion, soy and a bit of hot oil, yum!  And I also have been wanting to try fresh roe scrambled with eggs.  But this time we're going to preserved these little beauties!

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to

Wasn't quite sure how to go about it at first, but as I found the time we made homemade dry salted vegetables, the process is actually quite easy...just needs a bit of salt, a lot of sun and time.  The first step is a salt bath for about an hour.

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to
I forgot to wash the salt off before pressing which made the roes a wee bit too salty.
After an hour the salt is rinsed off and the roe is pressed flat.  I used another chopping board to cover and piled on some heavy pots to press down on the roe for a couple of hours.  

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to

The next stage is the drying out.  For this you will need sun and wind and time.  I put the pressed roes near the open kitchen window with a mesh cover to keep out any insects.  And tried to remember to flip the roes every couple of hours so that they dry evenly.  If you have a drying tray such as those used for drying pasta you won't need to flip them as often.  After a week or so, depending on the size of the roes, the roes should be ready if they are dry, hard and yet still flexible if pressed into, looking something like the roes in the topmost photo above.  


By the by, if you interested in more detail of how mullet fish roes are produced in Taiwan, check out this very informative video below.  I liked how hands on this mom and pop operation is.  I wish I could get my little greedy hands on some mullet roes...humm...I'll gonna have to try to sweet talk some of the fish vendors at the wet market...



So after a week or so of wind and sun and flipping over so that the roes can dry evenly, the fish roe should be dry yet still soft enough to slice through with a sharp knife.  Your lovely Homemade Dried Salted Fish Roe  自製魚子幹 can then be steamed or lightly roasted over flame.  Or, if left to dry until quite hard, the roe then can be grated as in the photo below and sprinkled over whatever you like, noodle dishes, steamed fish dishes, etc.  A yummilicious touch of fish roe umami to any dish!

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to


Homemade Salt Preserved Fish Roe Recipe
Prep time:  Drying time:

Ingredients:

8-10 fresh fish roes
1/4 cup salt


Directions:

Wash fish roe in cold water.  Using a spoon edge, pick off and discard any large veins, taking care not to break the skin.  In  a shallow dish, generously salt roes and leave in fridge for 1 hour.  Rinse salt off and lay out on a chopping board.  Cover with another chopping board and then weigh top down with heavy pots or whatever is handy.  Leave for 3 hours in a cool place to press out juices.  Remove the weights and top board.  Place on a clean dry tray and leave in a sunny, open to air area, covering with a mesh against insects.  Turn over every hour on the first day of drying and then 5 times a day for 5-7 days or until the roes are completely dry and yet still flexible if you press into it.  

To steam, place dried roes on plate and steam for 20 mins.   Add handful of thinly slivered spring onion, 1 tbsp of soy sauce.  Heat 1 tbsp of oil until very hot then carefully pour over the spring onions.  Serve hot.

To roast with flame, slice dried roe into bite sized pieces.  Pour a half cup of chinese rice or sorghum wine into a small bowl or teacup and touch the surface of the alcohol with lighted match.  The alcohol will start to burn.  Skewer one piece of dried roe on a stainless steel skewer and roast over the alcohol flame until the edges are browned.  Eat and enjoy.

Alternatively you can let the roe dry longer until it hardens completely and then you can grate it and sprinkle over noodles, over fried rice, over anything that needs a garnish of umami.  

Store air tight container in cool dark place for up to 2 weeks.



More Pretty Preserves at The Hong Kong Cookery:



Google

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...