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Steelhead caviar from Hank Shaw

September 30, 2012

How to make trout caviar

Making caviar at home is not nearly so hard as you might think. It is a miraculous product, beautiful as jewels with a briny pop that adds color and texture to all sorts of dishes. And freshly made caviar will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge, too.

This recipe is designed for large-egged roes, such as trout, salmon or steelhead. The picture above is of steelhead caviar. There is no reason it would not work with smaller eggs, but I’ve not yet tried it. Once I do, I will add to this post.

Makes about 1 pint.

Prep Time: 60 minutes

  • 1 full skein of steelhead, large trout roe or silver salmon roe, about 1 pound
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt or pickling salt
  • 4 cups cold water


  1. Mix the salt and water until the salt is all dissolved. Get a large bowl of ice water ready.
  2. Soak the roe sacs for 20 minutes in the salt water in the fridge.
  3. Get the faucet running with water just about as hot as you can take it, roughly 100-120 degrees. Lay a fine-meshed sieve in the sink.
  4. Lift one of the egg sacs out and run it under the hot water, gently shifting it back and forth between your hands. The membrane will contract and the eggs will fall out into the colander. Take your time and be gentle here. Repeat with the other skein.
  5. When all the eggs are in the colander, dunk the eggs in the bowl of ice water for 5 minutes, then return the eggs to the salt water brine. Rest in the fridge for another 15-20 minutes. Any longer and they will be very salty.
  6. Gently pour out the water and let the eggs drain in the sieve for 15 minutes.
  7. Pour into a clean glass jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, but they will lose quality over time.

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