Now is the season for nama-sujiko (raw salmon roe) and my local supermarket was selling it, so I bought some. I am always amazed living here in Japan at the quality of fresh seafood you can obtain just from a regular neighbourhood store, without having to go to an expensive fancy fishmonger or department store. The salmon roe was no exception and I gloated over my purchase.
I turned them into ikura, one of my favourite sushi toppings and general delicious things. It is much more economical than buying it ready made, you can control the amount of salt that goes in (and leave out the artificial preservatives) and the ikura freezes well so you can store it too. I followed the recipe of the amazing Donachys who as well as being skilled cooks, anglers, sailors and travellers are skilled curers of salmon eggs into ikura.
The eggs go whitish-yellow when you wash them in warm water and you have to get rid of the membranes surrounding the eggs. Once they are clean and separated then the eggs can be salted down and they are basically ready to eat. The only thing I did different to the Donachys’ recipe is I swapped half of the salt for soy sauce, to make shoyu-zuke ikura. The ikura turned out quite delicious – of course. Thank you Barbra & Jack Donachy!