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Flounder Roe


johnnyd
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I confess I was a bit disappointed that the roe didn't have that electric kool-aid, acid-red that I get when I order mentaiko at a sushi bar, but after thinking about it I speculated that commercial mentaiko might be dyed that un-holy red anyway.

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I sliced the roe sac open and tasted some... yeah, hey now! :biggrin: That is really good! Sanresho's recipe worked! The bite of the pepper mingled nicely with the shoyu/sugar/limejuice and sake/konbu/katsuobushi - everything was there. Even the flounder roe!

So how do I get this stuff out of here? I had been treating these things carefully throughout the recipe, but for the first time, I realized just how tough the sac membrane is. Even though I sliced easily into it, it was not as delicate as I thought.

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In fact, when I tried to gently separate the roe from the membrane, it would not come quietly. Actually, not at all. My vision of a complete, skinless roe sac was not to be.

So instead I scooped a bunch out - about the size of a quenelle - and found it quite pliable. It wasn't at all runny or gooey. It reminded me a little of dough, or a ball of coarse wasabi that you roll around in your hands and shape into a small mound.

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So that's what I did. After scraping almost all of it off the membrane, I ended up with three golf balls of pickle-peppered flounder roe!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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With all the talk about mentaiko spaghetti flying around

I decided to try my creation with some soba noodles, cooked in a dashi.

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I added some chives, cilantro stalk and leaf, toasted nori and a healthy dash of soba noodle soup-base - which I guess is called tsuyu - and formed a "brick" of flounder mentaiko in the center.

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I mixed it all around and after a while found the roe blending with the tsuyu, coating the soba with glistening roe.

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The flounder roe added a depth to the noodles - I especially liked the subtle heat of the pepper powder. This was a great experiment!

As I type this I realize there is a little salty after-feel in my mouth, so next time I will measure the salt for the pre-brine a little more carefully - a 10% reduction wouldn't hurt.

Now I have to remove the rest of the roe from the other sacs and freeze in four or six ounce bags. Suffice to say, any eG members who come calling can expect to find one stashed in your pocket, thawing slowly as you hurtle down interstate 95. :wink:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Darn, that looks good. I'm glad the recipe worked out for you.

Two questions for you: Did the brine penetrate the roe (sacs) evenly? And are the sacs tough?

Also, I think it would be less messy to freeze the mentaiko in the sacs, this is common if not the norm. The sacs can be removed after defrosting.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Darn, that looks good. I'm glad the recipe worked out for you.

Two questions for you: Did the brine penetrate the roe (sacs) evenly? And are the sacs tough?

Also, I think it would be less messy to freeze the mentaiko in the sacs, I think this is common if not the norm. The sacs can be removed after defrosting.

Yes! It did work out nicely but there are a couple places for improvement - now that I've had my mentaiko lunch and still taste the kosher salt in the pre-brine, I know that has to be toned down.

I couldn't see removing the roe sacs in step 5, but maybe I didn't understand it completely. I imagined all the eggs drifting around in a soup so I left the membrane on. Mid-week, I thought about slicing open the membrane for better absorption - especially since the color was a little gray and not the hot-red I wanted, but I was worried it would still all fall apart. But while opening the first one, I tasted a little bit all the way down to the tail and there was definitely sake and pepper flavor going on, so absorption through the membrane did occur. The membranes were a lot tougher than I thought.

Now that I see how firm this stuff is, I am going to remove a couple membranes and continue to soak the roe in pepper/sake marinade to see what happens. Maybe it was the pre-brine that firmed up everything? Still, the little pillar of roe I formed broke down in the tsuyu so maybe it can't hold up without the roe sac?

Per your suggestion, I will freeze a couple complete roe sacs and a few bags of roe sans-sac to see which thaw out best.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I couldn't see removing the roe sacs in step 5, but maybe I didn't understand it completely.  I imagined all the eggs drifting around in a soup so I left the membrane on.

Okay, I reread the original instructions and this should make more sense. The part in brackets below is my interpretation, because the original instructions aren't exactly clear.

5. Shaping: You will find that the oviducts attaching the roe sacks to the stomach are ripped/open. Spoon the roe (back into the sacs?) and place the sacs face down in the strainer. Place plastic wrap over the roe sacs and leave for 10 hours. Commercial producers use this step to firm up the sacs and improve absorption of the flavored brine.

Terrific work, JohnnyD. Truly pioneering work. But I'm still waiting for you to work up to some mentaiko spaghetti. :raz:

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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A typical mentaiko spaghetti recipe might be mentaiko, softened butter, shot of cream, squeeze of lemon juice. I see recipes calling for soy sauce as well. I'll try to dig out the last recipe I used. Bear in mind that this is using brined and flavored roe (mentaiko).

Toss the above just with the residual heat from the pasta (as in a carbonade). Top with chiffonade of shiso (or basil) and nori, both are a must.

Better late than never, here is the last mentaiko spaghetti recipe that I used, although it was with regular mentaiko and not karashi mentaiko. The sauce can be loosened up with cream or the pasta boiling liquid if desired.

Mentaiko Spaghetti

440 g spaghetti

120 g tarako roe

40 g butter, softened

1-2 tsp lemon juice

Pepper

Shiso (chiffonade)

Nori (cut in very fine strips)

1. Mix together roe, butter and lemon juice. Toss with hot pasta, using residual heat . (Do not cook over heat.) Top with shiso if available and nori.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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But I'm still waiting for you to work up to some mentaiko spaghetti.

Dude!

:blink:

You mean my soba "vermicelli" doesn't count?!!

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and as a bonus, we get to use my in-house karashi mentaiko a (not-so) tall pillar of which you see here! :cool:

And now you have a dose of cream goin' on. Gee, I dunno. Well, since I have so much of the stuff now, I should open the door to any and all suggestions. I'll try 'em!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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And now you have a dose of cream goin' on.  Gee, I dunno.

Just a splash, since there is no cooking going on. And entirely optional.

I think I would have used less mentaiko for that amount of soba, maybe half, so I could see how it would seem salty.

Looks darn good, though.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I think I would have used less mentaiko for that amount of soba

Remember when you discovered pancakes and maple syrup?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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. . . . but after thinking about it I speculated that commercial mentaiko might be dyed that un-holy red anyway.

Do you think? If so, I wonder what they would use for such color - a nitrate?

I've made pickled ginger at home for my own nori rolls with the goal of getting that deep pink color seen at sushi bars. After trying different gingers and things like the juice from pickled beets, I finally asked the sushi woman at my market and she said; "It's food coloring".

Your mentaiko looks delicious.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Do you think? If so, I wonder what they would use for such color - a nitrate?

I've made pickled ginger at home for my own nori rolls with the goal of getting that deep pink color seen at sushi bars. After trying different gingers and things like the juice from pickled beets, I finally asked the sushi woman at my market and she said; "It's food coloring".

Your mentaiko looks delicious.

On days like this, I feel ridiculously proud to be an eGer.

Mentaiko is on the list of things I have to make myself when I get back to Manchester.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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So this batch is in the books.

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Conveniently, the flounder mentaiko (I really have to find out what to officially call this stuff) fits one small roe sac per one 2oz. take-out condiment container. I froze the rest.

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I extracted roe from the larger sacs and rolled it into a log like compound butter, wrapped it in plastic and into a freezer bag.

Per sanresho's suggestion I put the remaining five or so roe sacs un-shucked into a freezer bag with a cup or so of red pepper marinade. Froze into a nice brick:

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My fishmonger is already feeling the heat for more flounder roe - not just from me but the Cambodians down the street who buy it in ten pound bags.

Call me crazy but I am good and ready to make some more of this.

edit to add: "hirame" is flounder; "ko" seem to be babies or eggs so what we have here is hirameko.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Conveniently, the flounder mentaiko (I really have to find out what to officially call this stuff) fits one small roe sac per one 2oz. take-out condiment container.

Whatever you call it, I want some now.

I also want to know what those Cambodians are doing with their flounder roe. :huh:

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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The Chicken and The Egg

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Picked up another pound and a half of flounder roe last night. I sauteed a roe sac and some chicken breast, pounded thin, in bacon fat then rolled it up tight. Finished for another few minutes then deglazed the pan with white vermouth.

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I was impatient so I had it a tiny bit rawish - but warm - in the middle. There is a lot that can happen sauce-wise here. Mustard comes to mind. More lemon too. Maybe a parsley, lemon and Noilly Prat combo?

What else?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a sauce for this roe-stuffed chicken. The vermouth worked really well here but there's room for something else.

So far, I'm thinking about:

1) Parsley pesto w/lemon, vermouth, maybe a touch of garlic

2) Balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard, with a crispy shallot garnish

3) Some sort of bechamel with something acidic? Sorrel? Pink peppercorn dust?

There are opportunities to bathe the dish or just dribble an accent on the plate - because it was great all by itself with a squirt of lemon and salt.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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  • 10 months later...

*Bump*

Looks like flounder roe is in season,

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Lunch!

gallery_16643_5932_61663.jpg

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I'm already prepping some hirame-ko like last year, but at $2.99/lb, what else can i make?

Who is seeing this rarity at their fishmongers?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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*Bump*

Who is seeing this rarity at their fishmongers?

Looks fabulous! Where can I get some in Portland (I'm in OOB)?

thanks,

-sabine

Sabine - These beauties are from Harbor Fish in Portland. They are offered when ever Ben gets a load of flounder at this time of year. You should see them for sale all of April (check the dates on prior posts).

They seem to be more likely available on the New England coast. Anyone around there might have to ASK THE FISH CUTTER to have them saved for you.

I think these are from Massachusetts - I'll ask next time I buy another pile.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Where does perch roe fit into the equation? I just purchased a container from the seafood merchant down the street for $6. I think it's a pint container. Interestingly, they don't carry flounder roe ...

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Who is seeing this rarity at their fishmongers?

I've never seen flounder roe face-to-face. So far this year, I've seen only haddock, shad, salmon, trout and lumpfish.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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