Ikura is the Japanese name for salmon roe or salmon caviar. Ikura salmon roe usually refers to cured and marinated salmon eggs. There are many ways to cure salmon eggs. The two most popular ways to make ikura caviar is using salt or soy sauce and sugar.
Ikura sushi is one of the more popular ways to serve Ikura. The eggs offer a salty taste and bright texture that elevate your favorite sushi to a culinary experience.
We love ikura sushi, but there are many other ways to serve ikura at home!
We're going to dive deeper into your ikura questions by discussing: What is ikura? How to buy ikura. And finally, show you how to make ikura at home.
What is Ikura: Ikura Japanese Meaning
Before we talk about ikura salmon caviar, let's cover your first questions.
What does ikura mean?
Ikura meaning: The word "ikura" in Japanese means "how much" or "how many." But the word ikura is also the Japanese word to describe salmon eggs or salmon roe.
Fun Fact: To ask for the ikura price, in Japanese, you would say, "Ikura wa ikura desu ka?"
Ikura Japanese Salmon Roe:
Ikura is the salmon eggs, also known as roe, from female salmon. During spawning season, salmon travel up from the ocean and into rivers to spawn or lay eggs. Spawning season is usually when salmon fishers, both professional and amateur, try to catch salmon for eating. If you're lucky, you'll catch a female salmon before she's released her eggs, and you'll have ikura salmon roe on your hands.
Raw ikura eggs are edible by themselves but marinating them in salt or soy sauce and a handful of other ingredients will give you a delicious condiment that you can use in a whole host of delicious recipes.
Popular ways to serve salmon ikura:
- Ikura Nigiri: Salmon roe sushi served over vinegar rice
- Ikura Sushi: Salmon roe, rice, and other vegetables wrapped in seaweed.
- Ikura rice bowls (Ikuradon): Soy marinated salmon ikura served over vinegar rice.
- Ikura Pasta: Japanese style pasta topped with marinated salmon roe.
- Chawanushi: Japanese egg custard topped with ikura.
What Does Ikura Taste Like?
The taste and texture of ikura work together to create a culinary experience. The eggs' mouthfeel is just as important as the taste to get the whole experience of eating ikura.
Ikura salmon roe should be slightly salty (think slight seawater taste) with a somewhat oily texture (but not greasy). Ikura does have a subtle hint of fish flavor or umami flavor, but it should not taste overly fishy.
The eggs should burst in your mouth when you gently press them against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. The burst of the eggs can be surprising at first, but you'll grow to appreciate the experience the more you eat ikura.
Ikura Recipe: How to Make Ikura at Home
When you order salmon caviar from Global Seafoods, you'll receive frozen salmon roe in the mail. While we love raw salmon eggs by themselves, a delicious way to serve ikura salmon roe is by marinating your salmon eggs. Our ikura is already salted to preserve the freshness of the roe.
Let us show you how to our favorite soy marinated ikura recipe.
To make Ikura at home, all you need is a few easy ingredients.
How to Make Ikura:
*When working with any kind of caviar or fish eggs, be sure not to use stainless steel appliances, spoons, bowls, etc. Stainless steel can react with the eggs and alter the flavor. We recommend glass bowls and wood or ceramic utensils. A popular way to serve caviar is using a bone spoon. *
- 1 pound of your favorite salmon roe (we offer Chum, Coho, King, and Pink salmon roe)
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 tablespoon of high-quality sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sake or rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- In a glass bowl, combine the warm water, sea salt, and sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Add in your soy sauce and sake or rice wine vinegar. Stir until combined.
- Gently fold in your ikura salmon roe and place it in the fridge.
- Soak your salmon roe in the mixture for 12-24 hours.
When you are ready, drain your ikura and use it in your favorite recipes or by itself. Be sure to use your Ikura within three days.
Is Ikura Healthy to Eat?
Ikura is high in vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Ikura is a very rich tasting food and is high in fat, which is where you get the heart-healthy omega-3's. For that reason, many people choose to eat ikura in smaller portions.
Ikura is high in cholesterol and sodium. If you are watching your cholesterol or sodium intake, you may want to share your ikura with friends and family rather than keeping it all to yourself.
One tablespoon of ikura has about 20 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat.
Where to Buy Ikura Salmon Roe:
At Global Seafoods, we offer several varieties of frozen ikura.
You can choose from:
You can make marinated ikura with any of these types of salmon roe. Pink salmon caviar is one of the more popular varieties for its medium-sized eggs. If you are looking for a larger-sized egg for the mouthfeel and water balloon-like pop, go with Chum Salmon Caviar.
When you order from Global Seafoods, you can choose between one and two pounds of red salmon caviar. While our recipe calls for one pound of ikura, you can easily cut the recipe in half.
Your order of ikura salmon roe will be frozen and shipped to you over dry ice. We guarantee your order will remain frozen until it arrives at your door. You can place your ikura right in your freezer until you are ready to use or put it in your fridge to defrost and eat right away!
It's never been easier to find and serve ikura at home with Global Seafoods' convenient online ordering and fast shipping.