Danish Lumpfish Roe – The Caviar of the North

Danish Caviar

Lumpfish roe is sold fresh in the fish shops of Denmark during the spring months and in jars over most of the world all year round. It is available in its natural color, but can also be brought with black, and red food coloring added so that it resembles real caviar from the sturgeon.

It can be used as a first course served with toasted bread, lemon wedges, and sour cream. This is the most common way to serve lumpfish roe, but a friend of mine served the roe with bread fried in butter first. It was delicious.

The season is soon over and the fish shops are selling large portions of roe than need to be cleaned. It is much cheaper and easy to clean. It can then be frozen and taken up in small portions at a later date. Don’t salt or use lemon until the roe has been thawed.   

How to clean fresh roe, open the sac and press the roe out into a bowl. Remove the largest membranes. Pour cold water over and with an electric mixer, beat the roe. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour off the impurities that have floated to the surface. Repeat this process. Drain the roe and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add 1 cup/8 oz. finely chopped onion if the roe is to be served plain with toast and sour cream.










Lumpfish Roe on Butter Fried bread with Dill Sour Cream and Slices of Red Onion

Serves 4

4 slices of white bread

30 g/1 oz. butter for frying bread

250 g/8 oz. lumpfish roe

1 tbsp. salt

1 cup sour cream combined with a pot of dill

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

8 springs of dill

2 lemons

To make  bread, melt butter on a large skillet over medium high heat and fry the bread 2-3 minutes or until they are golden.

To make roe, combine the salt with the roe and place a 4th of the roe on each piece of fried bread. Place 1 or 2 large spoonfuls of sour cream on top of the roe and arrange 1 or 2 sprigs of dill on top of the dish.

To serve, cut the lemons into 2 and grill them on a grill pan and place a half lemon on each plate.

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