And speaking of salt, I happened to go out fishing in Alaska with my good food friend Jim Michener captaining the boat. Jim makes Alaska Pure Sea Salt
. We discovered that my fish was a hen carrying roe, but they were a bit immature, meaning they were not quite ready to make salmon caviar, also known by their Japanese name, ikura
But we saved the two skeins (whole roe pouches) and Jim gave me salt that was too fine for the big, beautiful flakes he seeks, but perfect for a salmon bottarga experiment.
Bottarga is a Mediterranean salt-dried fish roe. When it's ready, it's so hard that it's grated or thinly sliced, eaten over pasta or bread, adding a heady, intense essence of the sea. But bottarga is traditionally made with tuna or mullet roe. Hank Shaw
, another food friend
, uses shad roe, and even advises against salmon roe in his recipe
, because he says you want small eggs.
These eggs were pretty small, so we'll see. So far, after two weeks of drying, travelling with me across Alaska and back to Chicago (in Rubbermaid TakeAlongs
) the salmon bottarga is firm, but I don't think quite ready yet.
With the recent report
that we waste
an overwhelming 40 percent of our food, with seafood wasted
the most at home, you can be sure every edible bit of the fish I caught will be eaten and savored.