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Shad Roe


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Hi there,

First post here, and hope it's in the right place. I've been curious about shad roe. I've never tried it, but the past few springs, when I see it in the case, I think I should. But, it also seems like the kind of thing I shouldn't prepare for myself for the first taste. Looks like it might be gamey (is it?) ...I'm a bit of an adventurous eater, but usually only eat sea creatures, dairy and vegetables.

I saw it mentioned that it's served at Le Paradou -- this would be a bit of a splurge for me (but not unheard of) -- especially for an experiment.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

"Big media today wants to own the faucet, pipeline, water, and the reservoir. The rain clouds come next." - Ted Turner
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Why ask if__ shad do it,__ Wait - er, bring me shad - roe ...

Definitely in the right place ! And welcome. I am ashamed to admit I have never sampled the stuff, even after growing up here. Shad I can vouch for, the roe I just can't muster it. But Phyllis Richman always had nice things to say about it ... anyone?

Emily Kaiser

www.emilykaiser.com

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It has been a number of years since I last had it. It seemed oily and a little strong but not unpleasant. It was breaded and pan-fried fresh from the fish.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I had it two weeks ago at Pesce, and the chef told me it was the last order he was going to serve this year due to end-of-season, so I suspect you won't be finding it any longer on area menus - maybe your Paradou information is from a couple of weeks ago?

Picture the taste of liver with the granular texture of oatmeal.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Edit: The "gritty grits" description of the texture is better than what I came up with above. For what it's worth, the owner of Pesce (the affable Madame Palladin) described it as "the liver of the sea." Whatever it is, it's pretty strong and rich.

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Hmm, I wouldn't necessary agree with the notion that shad roe tastes like liver. I'd describe its flavor as intensely fishy (in good and bad ways, depending on how you feel about fishiness). It is definitely strong, with a remarkable aromatic essence-of-the-sea taste. The texture is reminds me of quite gritty grits, or of exactly what it is: tightly-packed caviar! It is really delicious when pan-fried in bacon fat, nice and simple. Can't say I'd recommend making it at home, though, as it certainly does look *nasty* when raw.

She blogs: Orangette

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I would agree it does not taste like liver. I love shad roe but hate liver. Shad roe is very dense and flavorful with a distinctive texture. If cooked right you can feel the eggs in your mouth.

I think you are pretty much out of luck. Slavin and Sons in Arlinton would have it if anyone does.

Edited by DCMark (log)
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Thanks everyone -- you're quite the informative crowd! :cool: I guess I should wait for next year - and mark my calendar for early spring.

Speaking of seasonal seafood, I sampled my first soft shelled crab of the year recently @ Zaytinya. It was delicious, but I'm hoping to see it soon on Corduroy's menu, because I had the tastiest ones there last year.

chus!

"Big media today wants to own the faucet, pipeline, water, and the reservoir. The rain clouds come next." - Ted Turner
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Love it or hate it, the only reason one should eat shad roe is that it is simply a medium for more bacon in your life.

Jarad C. Slipp, One third of ???

He was a sweet and tender hooligan and he swore that he'd never, never do it again. And of course he won't (not until the next time.) -Stephen Patrick Morrissey

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Love it or hate it, the only reason one should eat shad roe is that it is simply a medium for more bacon in your life.

I'm thinking shad roe club sandwich. That way you get both food groups...bacon and mayo.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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Shad Roe is available in season at the fish stall in Eastern Market, they always seem to have it in the spring.

It's basically two pouches that are connected filled with the roe. You gentle seperate the pounches where they connect and I pan fry them. You have to be careful when seperating and cooking not to let the pouches puncture or the roe will spill out and the eggs will splatter in the hot oil/fat. I'd have to agree they have a fish taste with a slight liver flavor. I served it on a bed of spetzle.

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.....

I guess I should wait for next year - and mark my calendar for early spring.

.....

Still shad season in Connecticut, I believe. Roadtrip?

-- Jeff

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." -- Groucho Marx

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Fresh Fields had shad roe earlier this week. I don't find it strong tasting, as long as it's fresh, and if cooked properly it should still be tender and a bit unctuous in the middle. It's very easy to cook. The New York Times cookbook has a very simple and quick recipe for poaching shad roe in white wine with minced shallots. You add some cream at the end, and I add some crisp bacon bits for garnish. Poached in white wine and then sliced into medallions and served cold with soy sauce and a touch of lemon juice is also very good. Kinkead's sometimes serves cornmeal crusted shad roe, or you can dust it with flour and saute in butter.

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  • 2 years later...

To bring this topic up to date - what restaurants are planning on having this on their menu this year and who had particularly good shad roe in a restaurant last year?

"Food is an essential part of a balanced diet."

Fran Lebowitz

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I really like shad roe now that I finally learned how to cook it. My wife's family likes it a lot and I used to make it for her.

It will be available in the DC area all during the early spring. I've gotten it at Whole Foods, Annapolis seafood, and Frank's in Jessup to name a few places.

It's a classic southern breakfast fare, bacon is pretty much required.

Fry some bacon in a skillet and remove. Dust the shad roe with a little flour mixed with salt and pepper, not too much, just a dusting. Brown the shad roe quickly in the bacon grease. Add a little water to the skillet, cover, and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for a few minutes. It should still be a little pink in the middle. My problem for years was that I fried the shad roe over high heat in the bacon grease. It got too done (all grayish brown inside) and that made it chewy and fishy. Adding the water and cooking it gently keeps it moist and really reduces the fishy/liveryness.

Serve the shad roe with bacon, soft fried or poached eggs, and nice warm bread or toast.

Some folks like a squeeze of lemon on it. I prefer to dip it in egg yolk and put it on the toast.

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To bring this topic up to date - what restaurants are planning on having this on their menu this year and who had particularly good shad roe in a restaurant last year?

Pretty much all the good fish restaurants will have it -- Kincaid's, Oceanaire, etc. I saw it for sale in the deli counter at Black Salt the other day, so I assume it's on the menu as well. It seemed oddly out of place, as I identify shad's appearance with Spring and it sure as hell wasn't spring in DC last Saturday. Theirs had been trucked up from Georgia, so I assume that the local stuff is not yet available.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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We had a very nice snowy Sunday brunch yesterday that featured a big fat shad roe set from Annapolis seafood on Forest drive, $10.99.

As an aside, I found the selection at Annapolis seafood to be better than usual, perhaps due to Lenten demand. I'm usually not a big fan of that place, but they had some decent looking stuff in there. The selection is always better at the Forest drive store, the one in my home base of Edgewater is usually pretty lame.

One other tip on shad roe prep. Prick a few small holes in the roe sacks to let steam out. Wife didn't do this yesterday and had a pretty impressive explosion of one of the sacks. About a 10 foot range of coverage.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Growing up, shad roe was an occasional treat (like artichokes dipped in mayo) relished by my parents. I cooked it for the first time a few years ago, but I have to say the Joy of Cooking's method was terrible. It called for removing the membranes, which of course caused it to crumble apart, and par-boiling it I think.

The fishmonger down the street from me sells it right now, and I think I'm just going to dust it with flour and fry it in bacon fat. Should I leave it slightly pink in the center?

Funny thing is, my wife, who eats no red meat other than liver (!!!), likes liver but hates shad roe. I am the opposite.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Yes, slightly pink.

any thoughts about cooking and eating the fish itself? yesterday I tried the old technique of cooking the whole fish wrapped in foil in a 250 oven for about seven hours. i.e. until the bones dissolve. In spite of the opinion of James Beard - it was sensationally good.

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