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The Magic of Salmon Roe, aka Ikura

Salmon roe, also known as "ikura" on sushi menus, are a rare treat for home cooks. These bejeweled egg sacks are hard to come by, unless you catch a female salmon, just before she heads upstream. To brine them and remove the eggs out of the surrounding membrane is also a delicate process, but well worth the effort. 

Homemade ikura is fresh, lightly brined, with a crisp pop and flavor that is reminiscent of a sea breeze. These orange clusters are a mother lode of Omega-3's. In fact, they are 3.5 times higher than salmon itself. Increased brainpower, fertility, and heart health are just some of the benefits.

California King salmon are troll-caught while still out at sea, which means their eggs are still underdeveloped compared to salmon that have begun their run into their natal streams to spawn. The result are smaller eggs than you might typically see at your sushi bar. An alternative preparation for tiny eggs is to salt cure them into salmon bottarga and grate them over pasta or vegetables for an umami-rich garnish!