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From Sea to Table: How Ikura Is Harvested and Prepared

September 26, 2023

From Sea to Table: How Ikura Is Harvested and Prepared

Ikura is an incredibly popular Japanese delicacy that can be found around the world. The name Ikura is derived from the Japanese word for “salmon roe,” and it is a type of cured salmon roe that is especially beloved for its unique flavor and texture. In this article, we are going to take a look at the process of harvesting and preparing this remarkable delicacy.


What is Ikura? Ikura is a Japanese delicacy made from cured salmon roe. It has a unique flavor and texture that has made it one of the top delicacies in Japan. The word Ikura translates to “salmon roe,” and it is typically served as a topping or part of a sushi dish. It can also be served on its own as a standalone dish.

History and Origins of Ikura: Ikura is one of the oldest dishes in Japan and has been eaten for centuries. Traditionally, it was only served during special occasions as it was believed to bring good luck and fortune. In modern times, Ikura is a popular item in sushi restaurants and sushi bars all over the world.

Harvesting Ikura

Where Is It Found? Ikura is sourced from the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, and the Baltic Sea. It is usually harvested by fishermen in these waters in the late summer and early fall months.

When Is Ikura Harvested? Ikura is usually harvested during the late summer and fall months. This is the time of year when the salmon are most plentiful and their eggs are ready to be harvested.

How Is Ikura Harvested? Ikura is harvested using a special fishing method known as “ikura fishing.” This method utilizes a long-handled net with a long-handled harpoon to capture the salmon eggs. The net is then raised up and the salmon eggs are carefully scooped up into the net.

Preparing Freshly Harvested Ikura

The Salting Process: After the Ikura is harvested, it goes through a salting process. During this process, the eggs are carefully mixed with sea salt to give them flavor and to preserve them. The eggs are then placed in trays and left to cure for several days.

Rinsing and Draining: Once the Ikura has been adequately cured, it is ready to be rinsed and drained. This process removes any excess salt and makes sure that the Ikura is free of any impurities. After the Ikura has been rinsed and drained, it is ready to be served.

Storing and Serving Ikura

Methods of Storage: Ikura can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to two weeks. To keep it fresh for longer, it should be refrigerated in a brine solution, such as sake or soy sauce, for up to two months.

Serving Options: Ikura can be served as a stand-alone dish or as a topping for sushi. It can also be used in soups or in other dishes. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways to add depth of flavor and texture to a variety of dishes.


Ikura is a delicacy that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. It is a unique and flavorful delicacy that is harvested from the sea and prepared in a special way. Ikura can be served on its own or as a topping for sushi, and can also be stored and served in a variety of ways. No matter how it is served, it is a delicious and nutritious delicacy that is sure to be a hit.