Monday, 10 November 2014

Bottarga Made at Home


Home Made Bottarga from freshly caught fish

Thanks to a sweet friend who gave us flathead fillets, especially the sweet tails.
He also generously gave us some fresh, whole flathead fish roe.
I have been keen to get my hands on some roe to make Bottarga - a salted, preserved fish roe.
This is prevalent in Sardinia and specific Italian coastal communities 
make Bottarga as their own specialty product.



Bottarga is salted, cured fish roe and it is traditionally finely sliced or crumbled onto pasta.
   Try sprinkling some crumbled Bottarga onto Aglio e olio (garlic and oil spaghettini).
  It can also be added over bean or asparagus dishes for an intense addition of flavour.


1.  Gently wash and then place the fish roe sacs into salted water and leave overnight.


2.  Next day:
Drain the fish roe on absorbent paper, blotting dry very gently, you don't want to break the sacs.


3.  Gently coat the sacs in a little olive oil, turning to coat them completely.


4.  Roll in pure coarse sea salt and place on fresh, absorbent paper.


5.  Cover all of the sacs with fine sea salt, making sure they do not touch each other.


Cover with muslin to keep any bugs away.
All you can see is a salt filled bowl.


6.  Check after four days, you may need to change the absorbent paper and add more fine sea salt.
 Here I additionally used an anti-insect cover to protect the bottarga.


On day 7 check the bottarga again to see if paper needs replacing and to ensure they are salt coated.

7.  After fourteen days here is the completed project.
It is cured after ten days but it doesn't hurt to leave it a bit longer.

Remove the bottarga from most of the salt, a little salt will still cling to them.
To store, vacuum seal or place in a glass jar in the fridge or store in freezer for up to one year.
When a piece of bottarga is sliced or ground the rest will lose flavour quickly so use all of the piece.
Try it over pasta and please, tell me what you think of the intense flavour.

Bon appetito, Enjoy Merryn xx

17 comments:

  1. Wow well done for making your own Merryn! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine, it is incredibly easy if you have the main ingredient freshly caught :D

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  2. Congrats Merryn - looks very good - wish I lived closer:)

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    1. Rachel thank you so much, it would be nice to be closer and share all of these goodies, I agree :D

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  3. What a huge job. You're very clever to do this.

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  4. Thanks Maureen I was so happy when the flathead roe turned out just fine :D

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  5. I've never had a chance to eat Bottarga, but Japanese eats this fish roe too! This looks delicious and I hope to try it one day!

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  6. Fish roe is full of vitamins and goodness. Japanese style fish is so fresh and with very impressive presentation.

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  7. ooooh ... one for my dad, not me :-) but i do admire you making your own!

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    1. You only need one in the family to enjoy this intense flavour, their enthusiasm will convince the rest of the family to partake :D

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  8. Wow that sounds like it would be amazing in pasta! My mouth is watering!

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    1. Thanks Lucy, I am glad this is to your liking :D

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  9. never had bottarga before, i'm a curing and homemade charcuteries enthusianst...
    this recipe is worth to try!!!
    what kind of fish rou you use on this post ?

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    1. I also love curing, salting and smoking it is so nice to share ideas for charcuterie. Bottarga is certainly unique, strong in flavour but very appealing. This fish roe was from freshly caught "flathead" that were caught in our saltwater lake not far from the ocean. Flathead are a very sweet and versatile fish with which to cook.

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  10. I've not had this before, so I obviously haven't made it. But it looks excellent! And a fun recipe. Thanks so much.

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  11. Thanks John I love how we can all learn from each other :D

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  12. Hi!

    We just returned from Palermo and bought some dry bottarga there. Now will try to do something from Finnish roe. Where do you keep the bowl for 14 days. In the room temperature, in the fridge or outdoors?

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