Cuisine: Salted fish roe (bottarga) – Italian Cuisine

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Bottarga is salted, cured fish roe, originating from Sardinia and Sicily, that’s traditionally sliced, grated or sprinkled on seafood pasta dishes. Make sure your roe are as fresh as possible and not damaged in any way.

whole fish roe or egg sacks (small eggs are best)
olive oil
butchers’ twine
Cook’s notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time overnight

Hanging time 10–14 days

Soak the roe overnight in a saltwater solution (10 g salt per 1 litre of water).

Remove from the solution and pat dry on paper towels.

Lay out fresh paper towel on a tray and liberally sprinkle with salt. Place the roe on top and cover with more salt. Place this in the fridge.

Replace the paper towels daily. Add more salt.

After 3 or 4 days the roes will have firmed up. Use a skewer to poke a hole in each roe and tie butchers’ twine in a long loop. Hang the roe in a cool dry place for 10–14 days (or longer, if desired).

Remove the roe from its hanging place, brush with a little olive oil, wrap and refrigerate.

Bottarga is best served freshly sliced or grated onto pasta.

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