You know spring is on its way when you spot shad roe for sale at the fancy seafood markets. I was at the Ferry Building's fish market in need of some wild shrimp and was intrigued by this big red sack of roe that I spotted at the market. Holy crap - this thing was as big as my hand!
If you've never heard of shad roe, it's a sack of eggs from a female shad fish located in the East Coast. This shipment of shad roe was from Virginia. It's considered as a delicacy because it's extremely seasonal and rare to find. I thought it sounded delicious and if it's rare, I definitely had to give it a try.
I cleaned the roe making sure to not piece the sack. I dipped it into milk then a cornmeal batter, and fried it over medium-low in butter and oil with some minced shallots and garlic. I added a couple of squeezes of lemon for brightness. This gave it a nice crunchy crust.
The shad roe had a meaty liver taste and mealy texture. It tasted a bit briny but mild in flavor. It's kind of cool yet unappealing how you can see the individual eggs in the photo below. Overall, it wasn't my cup of tea but I was happy to try it out.