Fish Roe Salad (Salată de Icre) is made with pike or carp fresh roe and is a customary appetizer for festive dinners in our home. It is made generally with sunflower or vegetable oil instead of olive oil and without any thickener like bread or potato. The technique which is used for this dish is exactly the same as for making aioli or mayonnaise.
I remember when my Mom used to buy fresh carp or pike, she would always ask the fish manger to choose a fish which had the roe. She would make it right away, while it was the freshest, of course we didn’t have a food processor, and the whole process was “Labor of Love”, but it took her not less than 1 hour or more until it became light, fluffy and airy.
This salad Is mostly enjoyed spread on a fresh slice of bread, after drinking a nice small glass of vodka or brandy. The first thing that true gourmets always do after sitting at our table is look for this fish roe salad, to satisfy their taste buds with a real culinary relish.
- Makes more then 2 cups
• 1 cup (the freshest) Carp or Pike Roe
• ¾ cup sunflower oil + 1 tablespoon of pure olive oil
• ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
• 1 large shallot very finely diced
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
• A splash or two of Club Soda or Sparkling water
- In a colander or a strainer carefully wash, under cold water, the Roe. Drain and peel-of the thin film around the Roe. Transfer to a medium size bowl.
- Place the bowl with the Roe over a pot or sauce pan with barely simmering water. Make sure that the bowl with the Roe doesn’t touch the water. With a wooden spoon steer the Roe for about 2-3 minutes until all of it is the same light pink color. Let it cool for a little while.
- Pour the oil into a measuring cup. Keep the lemon or lime juice, and the Club Soda or Sparkling Water close to your working place.
- Begin steering with a wooden spoon in the same bowl where you partially cooked the Roe. Start with a teaspoon of lemon juice and after that is well mixed, add 2 tablespoons oil to stabilize the emulsification, transfer to a food processor.
- Process, alternating a teaspoon of lemon juice and a few drops of oil at a time. Repeat until all of the lemon juice and oil are incorporated and the mixture thickens.To aerate and thin out, shake the bottle with Club Soda and add 1 tablespoon to the food processor and process briefly. Then add salt, black pepper to your taste and diced shallot. With the processor running, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a slow steady stream.
- Remove from the food processor and chill before serving. Keep refrigerated not more then for 2 days.