The roe of female cod is sold fresh or boiled, and is frequently smoked. The roe can vary in size.
Arguably the best cods’ roe comes from Iceland. It is blanched before smoking, so choose one that feels firm to the touch. Fresh cods’ roe is available during the early months of the year when the fish is spawning; poached and smoked cods’ roe is sold year round. Canned cods’ roe is also available and can be sliced and fried.
Smoked cods’ roe is used to make taramasalata, although it’s traditionally made with smoked grey mullet roe. For taramasalata, the membrane surrounding the smoked roe needs to be peeled away and discarded; the roe is then mashed with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and breadcrumbs to make a rich paste. Fresh roe is usually poached, then sliced, rolled in egg and breadcrumbs, and fried. It is also popular deep-fried (buy it from fish and chip shops).
Article by CJ Jackson
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