Ikura Don: The Ideal New Year’s Resolution Recipe!

Posted: Jan 06 2015

Happy New Year! Happy Shōgatsu (Japanese New Year)! If you’ve been celebrating for the past few weeks, chances are you’ve had plenty to eat and drink, which means that now’s the time to start on that new year’s diet. We’ve got the perfect way for you to start, and it starts with a sushi delicacy called Ikura.

Roe is the term used for internal fish eggs, which is a common dish topper in the world of sushi. Salmon roe, or Ikura, is among the most popular and can be found in sushi restaurants around the world. It’s also extremely versatile, capable of being both the heart of a dish and an accoutrement to sashimi or other proteins.

(Side note: Ikura is just one form of salmon roe; the other is Sujiko, and the subtle difference between the two comes from the time within the gestation cycle that it is harvested. To help you differentiate at your favorite sushi restaurant, Sujiko has a sweeter taste and darker color.)

However, for now, we're going to focus on salmon roe / Ikura -- more specifically, how it can be used in a dish. One of our favorite things to do is use Ikura as a rice topper. Here are two excellent ways to prepare Ikura Don (salmon roe on rice): 

Option 1: Love the taste of salmon roe? Here's an easy and elegant way to enjoy it. Start by cooking one beaten egg and cutting it into bite size strips. Then get a bowl and add layers in this order: sushi rice, a thin layer of egg strips, Ikura. Garnish with spring onions, seaweed, or radish sprouts. This is an excellent and simply meal that works well with miso soup.

Photo courtesy by JustOneCookBook

Option 2: Salmon roe, naturally, tastes great with cuts of salmon sashimi. This option essentially swaps out the egg for salmon meat. Start by prepping a bowl of salmon rice. Then create a layer of salmon sashimi; for artistic effect, you can neatly circle the rice to create an even, flat surface of sashimi. Then, sprinkle the Ikura on top of the salmon and garnish with shredded seaweed. One way to enhance the presentation is to put the Ikura in a small mound on top of a shiso leaf.

Of course, like most sushi dishes, Ikura Don recipes come in many different varieties, all driven by your personal taste and imagination. At its most basic, you're simply adding Ikura on top of rice, but with a little bit of culinary creativity, you can create just about any variation featuring your favorite sushi elements.

Have a favorite Ikura Don recipe you'd like to share with Fish For Sushi? Send it to us and we'll post it on the Fish For Sushi site!

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