Ikura, or salmon roe, is delicate red caviars that are an excellent source of Omega-3s and many micronutrients. Enjoy it as a topping on sushi rolls!
What is Ikura (Salmon Roe)
Delicate salmon roe or red caviar, also called Ikura (いくら) in Japan, is highly prized by caviar lovers around the world. We use Ikura for sushi as an ingredient or garnish on top of sushi rolls. Although many people may associate caviar as luxurious or fancy food, the red glistening fish roe is considered a common food in Japan. Because salmon roe is more accessible, they are much more affordable than other types of caviar. You can find Ikura being sold everywhere in supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.
Is Ikura for you?
Nutritionally speaking, salmon fish roe or fish eggs share one important health benefit with fish oil; they are an incredible source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish roe is also rich in micronutrients and Vitamin D, which is beneficial for bone health and overall immune system functions. Some research even cites that fish roe facilitates brain development in children and they are also used to increase the fertility of women. Unlike other fish oil supplements that have been processed, fish roe is real foods in the whole form that can be enjoyed on its own or as an ingredient in your cooking.
Where to buy Ikura
In the US, I usually find Ikura at my local Japanese grocery stores. Some Whole Foods or higher-end grocery stores or specialty seafood stores may also carry salmon roe as well. You can also check out some specialty online retailers such as Seattle Caviar who ships salmon roe and other types of caviar nationwide.
Recipes Using Ikura
In Japanese cuisine, we typically enjoy Ikura salmon fish roe raw or cured instead of cooking them in high heat as these are the best way to preserve the Omega-3s.