Romanian Fish Roe Salad (Salata de Icre)
Roe salad is a very common appetizer or snack in Romania. As the Dobruja region is famous for its fish dishes, it is the place to find the best roe salad. Of course, many stores sell the salad as a ready-made product, but the homemade version always tastes better.
Romanian roe salad is usually prepared with carp, herring, or pike eggs, which are mixed with oil and a drizzle of lemon until they turn into a cream.
A variation to the dish is adding chopped onions, which complement the taste of the salad perfectly. The salad is consumed on toast or with fresh bread. It is one of the most common Christmas appetizers in the Dobruja region.
Romanian Fish Roe Salad
- 1 cup carp roe (herring or pike roe)
- ¾ cup sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large shallot
- freshly ground black pepper
- a splash or two club soda
How to Make Romanian Style Fish Roe Salad:
- In a colander or a strainer, carefully wash the roe under cold water
- Drain and peel off the thin film around the roe. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
- Place the bowl with the roe over a pot or saucepan with barely simmering water. Make sure that the bowl with the roe doesn’t touch the water.
- With a wooden spoon stir 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 work place.
- Begin stirring 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 olive oil in a slow steady stream.
- Remove from the food processor and chill before serving. Keep refrigerated for not more than 2 days.