Amazing nutrition and health benefits of Fish Eggs or roe   

Eggs, yes same old eggs! But today I am talking about health benefits of fish eggs. Fish eggs have special name and they are called’’ Roe’’. The roe we eat are unfertilized eggs like those of chicken. Since time unknown, fish eggs have been used as food

The most common source of roe

Most popular fish roe comes from salmon, mackerel and trout. Roe are fully ripe fish eggs. They are used both as a main dish and as a garnish for a side dish. They can be eaten both fresh and cooked. Fish eggs grew more and more popular with the time. As they are packed with a variety of nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

 There are two major types of Roe,

 There are two types of roe; hard and soft. Hard roe is the unfertilized eggs that come from some species of female fish. Soft roe is also called’’ milt” or the semen of the male fish. Japanese popular dish Shirako is actually milt

 HOW To clean the roe?

Simply rinse fish eggs under cold running water, then leave to drain for a few minutes before cooking. Fresh roe is seasonal and it is available only during spring when fish are reproducing. Unpreserved fish eggs are called ‘green eggs.  

Some nutritional facts about Roe

1.The most important benefit of eating them is that they provide omega 3 fats. Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory.

  •  Fish eggs are low in calory but rich with amino acids and proteins.  Fish roe is a complete protein -rich food, means it has all the essential amino acids our body needs.
  • They contain important minerals like selenium, and magnesium
  • Vitamin B-12 in roe is good for mental health, and energy metabolism
  • Fat-soluble vitamin D.
  • Fish eggs are good for diabetes patients, as they are low in carbohydrates and high in proteins. Animal proteins are necessary for the function of muscles.

Two major types of fish eggs or Roe; Masago and Tobiko


Masago are the eggs of a small fish named capelin. Capelin is silvery green and mostly used to produce fish oils and fish meals. These fish are very small in size and produce tiny eggs. The eggs have bright orange color and a specific gritty texture. The taste of Masago is slightly buttery. Masago is mostly used as a garnish for a meal. For example, Masago is common garnish on sushi rolls and many other rice dishes.

Nutrition facts about Masago are as under;

  • High quality Proteins
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin B-12 that helps with energy production and nerve health and other important bodily functions
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium is a mineral that reduces stress and plays critical roles for your thyroid and immune system
  • Sodium
  • Phosphorus

Tobiko Roe

Tobiko come from family of fish called flying fish species. As compared to Masago, Tobiko is more expensive and sought out. Tobiko eggs are also tiny in size and orange in color but brighter than Masago. These are also used in sushi. The eggs have typical texture and burst into mouth when eating. Tobiko eggs are preserved with salt.

Nutrition facts of Tobiko

There are many nutritional similarities between Masago and Tobiko. The flavors of roe vary from species to species. Following are the dietary facts of tobiko.

  • Proteins
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Phospholipid fats
  • High cholesterol (if eaten in moderation it does not pose threat to health)

What is Caviar roe?

Though all fish eggs are roe but not all roe is caviar as caviar belongs to wild sturgeon. Caviar is very delicate and pure luxury food. Very expensive and being very rare caviar is much loved in the cookery world.

Some important facts about caviar

 Caviar comes from wild sturgeon fish and paddlefish. Female fish can lay eggs either fertilized or unfertilized. The roe we eat are essentially harvested prior to being fertilized. Sturgeon roe is small in and shiny in appearance. But the color varies from green to black as well as yellow to green. The texture is crunchy and taste is slightly sweet

How caviar is served?

 Caviar is often served on a bed of rice and eaten with a spoon made of mother of pearl.  Eggs are retrieved from the fish then preserved in salt for 2 to 3 months. Many species of wild sturgeon are categorized as endangered. Therefore, caviar is costly being less available. The age of wild caviar is over now and farmed caviar is used in the cuisine

What is beluga caviar?

The most expensive among all roe is beluga caviar. It has smooth buttery texture and flavor like hazelnut. Beluga fish takes almost 20 years to get mature enough to start reproduction. Again, the beluga fish reproduces once in every several years. This slow reproduction is responsible for making caviar even more costly.

 Salmon roe and its nutritional benefits

Salmon roe is a good source of vitamins and potassium. It has deep orange color and bigger size than other fish eggs. The eggs are lustrous and somewhat transparent. Salmon roe is preserved in salt or marinated in soy sauce. It is high in nutrition and smells wonderful. Salmon eggs are low in calories and they have anti-inflammatory qualities

Potential Risks of eating fish eggs or roe

  1. Eating too much of roe can lead to higher risks of elevated blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. These risks are due to presence of high cholesterol and sodium in roe.
  2. Fish is a common allergen. It is possible to be allergic only to some specific fish or fish eggs. Fish allergy can develop at any age. If you suspect fish egg allergy and symptoms of skin rash, lip or tongue swelling ,headaches, nausea, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
  3. Fish eggs are high in purines, not good for people with gout or arthritis.
  4. Some species of fish eggs contain toxins that can make you sick.


Roe or fish eggs are beneficial for health, because they have healthy nutrients. Roe consumption helps to retain youthful looks with antiaging and antioxidant capabilities. Expecting women should include seafood in their diet for fetal health. Sometimes roe has high sodium when prepared and sodium is added. That can be damaging to health. Both fish and fish eggs provide high quality proteins. They maintain healthy metabolism and strong heart, including many other health benefits.   



  1. Nope, Not Pam says:

    So if we are harvesting unfertilised eggs, are we impacting the the species numbers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ruqia Ismat says:

      There is one such term called balanced _harvesting which depends on the production rate and the exploitation rate. If these two rates are balanced there will be no significant harm to the species. This rule also varies from species to species. That’s what I got the simplest answer when searching for it. It is quite a big and interesting field to study and includes many factors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, Not Pam says:

        One wonders though, if caviar is so expensive because of the impact of harvesting the eggs, whether those gaining from the process will care about the impact on the species ☹️


  2. Ena says:

    Thank you for choosing to follow my blog! I appreciate your support and I look forward to reading more of your posts.


    1. Ruqia Ismat says:

      You are welcome always. Thanks for following me too. So nice of you. 😄😄🌹💮🌸🌳💐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ena says:

        My pleasure! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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