Can You Eat Fish Eggs Raw?

If you are a fan of experimenting with different dishes and trying new ingredients, you are probably wondering – can you eat fish eggs raw? This article will help you understand the process of eating fish eggs, what they are and what is the best way to serve them.

Yes, you can eat fish eggs raw. Fish eggs (also referred to as roe) are often considered a delicacy in many parts of the world and can be found at many specialty stores or seafood markets. Raw fish eggs have a slightly briny flavor and high fat content, which makes them ideal for use in a variety of dishes from sushi to sauces and even topping pizzas.

Fish eggs can be enjoyed raw in different ways. There are two types of raw fish eggs – caviar and fish roe, and they are both edible. You can eat them separately or combine them in some special dishes and meals, depending on your own preferences. However, not all fish eggs can be eaten raw, so be careful with what you consume.

A close-up photo of a sturgeon

Fish Eggs Can Be Eaten Raw in Delicacies Like Caviar

Fish eggs are a delicacy that is most often served raw, most commonly as caviar. However, other interesting dishes include raw fish eggs, and many cuisines enjoy preparing them without any kind of cooking.

Fish eggs come in many different shapes and sizes, and they are also known as roe which can be found in several types of fish. However, when we talk about edible raw fish eggs, we are referring to unfertilized fish eggs.

Not All Types of Fish Eggs Are Edible

Keep in mind that when we are referring to eating fish eggs raw, we are mainly speaking of caviar and roe. So, where does caviar come from? Caviar is a specific type of roe that comes from a sturgeon family. This roe is cured, which means it has been properly treated and is considered a food product. Uncured roe is called green eggs, which are neither edible nor sold as a food product.

White caviar

What Are the Main Differences Between Caviar and Fish Roe?

A common question many people get confused about is whether caviar and fish roe are the same things. The best way to explain this misconception is that caviar is a type of fish roe, but not all types of fish roe can be caviar. While roe is the fully ripe egg of fish and marine animals, caviar is the cured egg of the sturgeon.

Both versions are edible and served in different ways depending on the cuisine. Some people like to refer to different types of fish roe as caviar (for example, lobster caviar or shrimp caviar), but that is incorrect. In order to understand the difference better, you can take a look at the table below.

CaviarFish roe
What is the origin?Sturgeon fishVarious marine animals, such as shrimps, scallops, sea urchins, and lobsters
What is the color?Usually found in blackHas a yellowish, orange, and red color
How is it treated?Curing process with saltUnsalted fish eggs
Nutritional valueOmega-3, vitamin E and seleniumOmega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B12

Raw Fish Eggs Have Plenty of Health Benefits

Processed raw fish eggs have numerous health benefits and are considered to be very nutritious. Despite being quite an exclusive dish and having a distinct flavor, there are numerous reasons you should try and include them in your diet. Some of the most common benefits of eating fish eggs raw are:

  • They can stunningly improve brain health through Omega-3 fatty acids. Because your body can not create these lipids on its own, it is super helpful to include them in your diet.
  • Controlling high blood pressure and reducing risks of heart diseases. The nutritional values from the eggs can cut triglyceride levels in your blood while also raising good cholesterol levels.
  • Improving visions through DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These acids can help you avoid the danger of retinal dysfunction and bad eyesight.
  • They can prevent breast cancer through previously mentioned DHA and EPA acids. These acids produce bioactive lipid mediators, which can help with inflammation resolution.
  • Creates an overall immunity boost by nourishing the body with all crucial nutrients and antioxidants.

How Can You Eat Fish Eggs Raw and Serve Them Properly?

If you are thinking about trying this interesting specialty, you need to know the proper ways of eating and serving fish roe or caviar. The best way to serve it is on some crackers, blinis, or toast points. You can serve them with softened cream cheese or butter.

Different types of caviar and fish roe are served differently, and there are numerous interesting recipes you can try out in order to make their taste even better. You can serve it completely raw or slightly process it before serving it on some biscuits or crackers.

The Flavor Is Very Delicate, so Keep It Simple

One of the most important things to keep in mind when serving raw fish eggs is that their flavor is very specific. Because the entire point of eating raw fish eggs is to enjoy their distinctive flavor, try not to mix them with heavy ingredients which will ruin the unique flavor. Frying or baking will diminish the taste and will not be very enjoyable. The most simple way to serve them is without any processing with some plain side ingredients.

 Black caviar

Some People Eat Fish Eggs Straight Out of Fresh Fish, but That Is Dangerous

Among some adventurous fishermen, you may hear stories about eating fish roe straight out of freshly caught fish. This is very dangerous and not recommended at all. Not all fish eggs are infectious, but you never know when you can get very sick from eating raw and untreated eggs.

Our recommendation is to not experiment with such things and only eat treated raw fish eggs which you can purchase at stores and eat at restaurants. This way, you can enjoy the deliciousness of these eggs without worrying about getting food poisoning and being sick.