AskDefine | Define roe

Dictionary Definition



1 fish eggs or egg-filled ovary; having a grainy texture [syn: hard roe]
2 eggs of female fish
3 the egg mass or spawn of certain crustaceans such as the lobster
4 the eggs or egg-laden ovary of a fish

User Contributed Dictionary

see ROE



Etymology 1

15th century, from or roge, from roga; related to Old Norse hrogn, Flemish rog; from *khrugna.


  1. The eggs of fish.
  2. The sperm of certain fish.
  3. The ovaries of certain crustaceans.
  • 1988 : It was quite flavourless, except that, where its innards had been imperfectly removed, silver traces of roe gave it an unpleasant bitterness. - Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming Pool Library, (Penguin Books, paperback edition, 40)
Derived terms

See also

Etymology 2

ro, from ra, from *raikhon. Compare Old Norse ra, Dutch ree, Old High German reho, German Reh


  1. A Eurasian deer with brownish coat.
Scientific names
Derived terms
See: roe deer



  1. Alternate, shortened form of roede, rod.



Extensive Definition

Roe is the fully ripe egg masses of fish and certain marine animals, such as sea urchin, shrimp and scallop. As a seafood it is used both as a cooked ingredient in many dishes and as a raw ingredient.
Caviar is a name for processed, salted roe consumed as a delicacy.
Soft Roe or white roe is not roe at all, but fish milt.

Around the world



Roe from the Hilsa fish is considered a delicacy in West Bengal and Bangladesh. The roe is usually deep-fried, although other preparations such as mashed roe where the roe crushed along with oil, onion & pepper, or curry of roe could also be found. In the state of Kerala roe is deep fried in coconut oil and is considered a delicacy. Among the tribal populace, deeply-roasted roe in open fire (much like marshmallows) is a delicacy. In this region, the roe of rohu is also considered a delicacy and is eaten fried or as a stuffing within a fried pointed gourd to make potoler dolma. The roe of sardines and black mackerel and several others are a delicacy all along the Konkan coast and Northern Kerala and is eaten fried(after being coated with red chilli paste) and also as a thick curry(gashi). In Kerala, a common method of quick preparation is by wrapping the roe in wet banana leaves and cooking over charcoal embers.


In Caspian provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, several types of roe are used. Called Ashpal or Ashbal, roe can be consumed grilled, cured, salted, or mixed with other ingredients. If salted or cured, it is consumed as a condiment. If used fresh, it is usually grilled, steamed, or mixed with eggs and fried to form a custard-like dish called "Ashpal Kuku".
Besides the much sought-after caviar, roe from Kutum (also known as Caspian White Fish or Rutilus Frisii Kutum), Roach (called "Kuli" in Gileki), Bream (called "Kulmeh" in Gileki), and Caspian Salmon are highly prized. Roe from Carp is less common and Barbel roe is also occasionally used.


A variety of roe types are used in Japanese cuisine, including the following which are used raw in sushi:
  • Sujiko (いくら) - Salmon roe. Large reddish-orange individual spheres. Since salmon eggs are also used as bait, first-time sushi eaters who have experienced fishing may be taken aback when served Sujiko. It is a loan word from the Russian, "ikra" (caviar).
  • Masago - Smelt roe, similar to Tobiko, but smaller.
  • Kazunoko () - Herring roe, yellow or pinkish, having a firm, rubbery texture and appearance, usually pickled. The roe is in a single cohesive mass and so looks like a piece of fish.
  • Mentaiko () - Alaska pollock roe, spiced with powdered red pepper and surrounded by a thin, elastic membrane. Mentaiko is usually pink to dark red.
  • Tarako (たらこ) - Salted Alaska pollock roe, sometimes grilled.
  • Tobiko () - Flyingfish roe, very crunchy, reddish orange in color.
  • Uni (うに, ) - Sea urchin roe, soft and melting. Color ranges from orange to pale yellow. Humans consume the reproductive organs ("roe") either raw or briefly cooked. Sea urchin roe is a popular food in Korean cuisine, and it is called "uni" in Japanese sushi cuisine. It is also a traditional food in Chile, known as an "erizo". Apart from domestic consumption, Chile and a number of other countries export the sea urchin to Japan in order to meet its demand throughout the country. Traditionally considered an aphrodisiac, sea urchin roe has been found to contain the cannabinoid anandamide.
  • Karasumi (カラスミ, ) - is a specialty of Nagasaki and along with salt-pickled sea urchin roe and Konowata one of the three chinmi of Japan . It is made by desalinating salt pickled mullet roe and drying it by the sunlight.


Myeongran jeot (명란젓) refers to the jeotgal (salted fermented seafood) made with pollock roe seasoned with chili pepper powders. It is commonly consumed as banchan, small dish accompanied with cooked rice or ingredient for altang (알탕), a kind of jjigae (Korean stew). Mentaiko in Japanese cuisine was derived from Myeongran jeot.



Lumpfish (stenbider) roe is used extensively in Danish cuisine, on top of halved or sliced hard-boiled eggs, on top of mounds of shrimp, or in combination with other fish or seafood. Another commonly eaten roe is that from the cod (torsk).


Tarama is salted and cured carp roe used to make taramosalata, a Greek and Turkish meze consisting of tarama mixed with lemon juice, bread crumbs, onions, and olive oil; it is eaten as a dip.
Also, avgotaraho (αυγοτάραχο) is a delicacy made of mullet roe, mainly produced in Messologgi, considered equal, if not superior, to red caviar.


Bottarga is the salted and dried roe pouch of Gray Mullet, used as a topping and for dressing pasta.


Norwegian caviar is most commonly made from cod, but caviar made from lumpsucker or capelin roe is also available.
In some areas it is also common to fry the roe from freshly-caught fish, to be eaten on bread or with potatoes and flatbread.


Smoked and salted cod roe paste, commonly served as sandwich topping is very popular in Sweden. The most famous brand being Kalles Kaviar.

United Kingdom

Roe consumed within the UK is generally soft roe as opposed to hard roe. Though not extremely popular, herring roe is sold within many British supermarkets. Battered cod roe can also be bought within many fish and chip shops, mainly around the Midlands area. Various tinned roes are on sale in supermarkets e.g soft cod roes, pressed cod roes and herring roes.

United States

Shad roe is a seasonal delicacy eagerly looked forward to in the spring. Shad roe is usually fried and served with mashed potatoes or on grits. It may also be sold fried or boiled


roe in Arabic: بطارخ
roe in Danish: Rogn
roe in German: Rogen
roe in Esperanto: frajo
roe in Spanish: Hueva (Biología)
roe in Finnish: Mäti
roe in Ido: frayo
roe in Italian: uova di pesce
roe in Hebrew: ביצי דגים
roe in Hungarian: Ikra
roe in Japanese: 魚卵
roe in Dutch: viskuit
roe in Polish: Ikra
roe in Portuguese: Ova
roe in Russian: Икра
roe in Sicilian: Ova di pisci
roe in Simple English: Roe
roe in Slovenian: Ikra
roe in Swedish: Rom (ägg)
roe in Tagalog: Bihud
roe in Chinese: 魚卵

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Cape elk, Partlet, Virginia deer, albumen, anguille, antelope, biddy, bitch, bossy, brood mare, buck, camel, camelopard, caribou, caviar, cow, deer, deerlet, doe, dromedary, eel, egg, egg white, eggshell, eland, elk, ewe, ewe lamb, fallow deer, fawn, filly, fish, fish eggs, gazelle, giraffe, glair, gnu, guinea hen, gyp, hart, hartebeest, heifer, hen, hind, jenny, kaama, kipper, kippered salmon, lioness, mare, moose, mule deer, musk deer, nanny, nanny goat, okapi, ovule, peahen, poisson, red deer, red herring, reindeer, roe deer, roebuck, seafood, she-bear, she-goat, she-lion, slut, smoked herring, sow, spawn, springbok, stag, tigress, vitellus, vixen, white, wildebeest, yellow, yolk
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1