I have been so used to seeing salmon roe on my sushi on don or even in vacuum packed containers that I was shocked to see what it really looked like coming out from a salmon! The owner of the Bed & Breakfast that we were staying at in Mount Vernon, Washington, received a call over breakfast from her trusty fishermen friends who caught some salmon from the Skagit River. Knowing that she had a fishmonger in her midst, she wasted no time in getting ready the salmon to pick up some skills on salmon filleting while unexpectedly learning how to keep the salmon roe for eating as well. (She was throwing away all the salmon roe before!!!!) It was our first time getting fresh roe out of a salmon and we were surprised at how easy it was!
First of all, descale the fish so that a clean slit can be made at the bottom of the fish. Note that we were using a simple knife, no fancy equipment needed! People often think that it is not necessary to descale the salmon if there is no intention to eat the skin. But clearing the scales is actually important for a clear surface to make a clean cut!
Once the slit is made, gently grab the whole skein of roe out of the salmon. All you need to do now is to dissolve salt in water to form a saturated saline solution to soak the roe in. Set a timer for 15 minutes. After which you may rinse off the solution and enjoy the roe with crackers or Japanese rice for a quick, delicious meal. We ate what we could with our baked salmon fillet for dinner that night, keeping the rest in the refrigerator. The next morning, for breakfast, we enjoyed the roe with our crackers and a cup of black coffee. Aaah... such is life in the great Northwest of USA!