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Can You Freeze Fish Roe?

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By Ross Young

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Fish roe is a delicacy that is the basis of caviar. But while caviar is taken from the roe of sturgeon fish only, fish roe is the term given to the eggs from all marine animals, with the most common types including tobiko, salmon, capelin, and trout.

While freezing caviar isn’t advised, is it possible to freeze fish roe, instead? Let’s find out.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze fish roe. Fish roe can be frozen for around 3 months. Fish roe is highly perishable and should be frozen immediately. The eggs should be tightly wrapped and protected from excess air before being placed in the freezer. 

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to Freeze Fish Roe

If you’ve decided that freezing fish roe is the way you want to go then here is the best approach to take: 

  1. Wash Thoroughly
    You will need to wash fish roe thoroughly before freezing. Rinse the eggs under cold water and then pat dry with a paper towel, being careful not to pierce them. 
  2. Wrap Each Set in Cling Film
    Each set of fish roe should be wrapped individually in cling film. Place the roe on a sheet of cling film before double wrapping the film around the set. 
  3. Place in a Container
    Add each of your individually wrapped sets of fish roe to a freezer-safe container. While you can use a freezer-safe bag, it’s better to use a container to offer additional protection. 
  4. Seal, Label, and Freeze
    Seal the container and write today’s date, as well as the use-by date of the roe on the lid, before transferring to the freezer. Remember, you can freeze fish roe for around three months. 

3 Tips for Freezing Fish Roe

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing fish roe to have the best results:

  • Dip in Ascorbic Acid – Dipping fish roe in ascorbic acid prior to freezing is said to lessen the chance of rancidity and flavour change during the freezing process. As such, it’s worth the effort if you have ascorbic acid to hand. 
  • Don’t Freeze Caviar – While some fish roe freezes well, caviar does not. Caviar’s texture and taste change during the freezing process, which can ruin its overall appeal. Given its cost, freezing caviar is a waste and something that should be avoided if possible! 
  • Defrost Slowly – When you’re ready to remove the fish roe from the freezer, you should take care to defrost it slowly. Place it in the coldest part of the fridge and allow it to thaw over time, as this will ensure the texture of the eggs is preserved.

How Long Can You Freeze Fish Roe?

You can freeze fish roe for around three months. 

Fish roe shouldn’t be refrigerated for any longer than a couple of days. So, if you don’t plan on using it within 48 hours, you should get it in the freezer as quickly as possible, as this will help to extend its shelf life. 

You Can Freeze Fish Roe for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Fish Roe?

Because fish roe is delicate, you need to be careful when defrosting it, and you should never defrost it at room temperature. Remove it from the freezer and place it on a flat surface, preferably in the coldest section of the fridge.

You will need to leave it overnight to defrost completely. We wouldn’t advise speeding the process up by laying your fish roe in water, either.

To ensure its taste and texture is preserved, you will need to be patient when defrosting fish roe and shouldn’t try to cut any corners! 

Can You Refreeze Fish Roe?

You should only freeze fish roe once. Refreezing it will cause it to lose most of its taste due to the high moisture content associated with the freezing process.

We encourage you to freeze fish roe in individual sets that are individually wrapped, meaning you can easily remove the appropriate serving that you need at any given time.

Due to its delicate texture and the fact that it’s highly perishable, fish roe should not be frozen more than once. 

Does Fish Roe Freeze Well?

Fish roe freezes fairly well, but you will need to be careful with it.

Bathing it for a few seconds in ascorbic acid prior to freezing is known to lessen the likelihood of rancidity or spoiling during the freezing process, and you will need to ensure each set is double wrapped in cling film to protect it from freezer burn.

Ultimately, providing you’re careful, most types of fish roe freeze well and should be good for up to three months in the freezer. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing fish roe or roe in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Caviar?

Yes, you can freeze caviar. However, this doesn’t mean you should or that it freezes well. Both the taste and the texture will change dramatically when frozen so it’s something we would advise against, ultimately. 

How Long Can You Keep Fish Roe in the Fridge?

You can keep fish roe and caviar in the fridge, in an airtight container, for around 1 to 2 weeks before it begins to go off. However, try to consume it as fresh as possible. 

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