Romanian fish roe dip – Salată de icre
Fish roe dip is an easy to make Romanian appetizer, consisting of a delicious combination of fish roe, sunflower oil, lemon juice and a bit of sparkling water. My mother makes the best fish roe dip that I ever tried, so I followed her recipe – I managed to make a fluffy, flavorful fish roe dip, with just the right consistency.
Fish roe dip is usually served in Romania as an appetizer for certain celebrations. I remember that my mother always made it for New Year’s Eve, when it is said that you need to eat a fish-based meal to have good luck – our saying is that you’ll easily pass through the new year and leave your problems aside, just like the fish easily swims and avoids all obstacles.
The best way to eat this fish roe dip is definitely with some red onions and olives, spread on toasted bread. If you want to incorporate the onion flavor into the fish roe dip, you can combine the two after you have incorporated all the other ingredients in the dip. If you are going to serve this appetizer for your guests, it would be best to leave the fish roe dip as it is, and put a bowl filled with finely chopped red onion on the side, so everyone can get as much as they want. My mom sometimes uses green onions, but I prefer the red onion – it looks prettier and the flavor is stronger.
The homemade version of this Romanian appetizer is ten times better than any store-bought one, but you need to have a little patience when you make it. The main tip that I can give you for a successful result would be to add a bit of every ingredient at a time, and fully incorporate it before adding the next one. If you add too much at once, the mixture could separate, curdle, and it will be difficult to recover it.
As for mixing the ingredients, my mom advised me to use a fork. Not a wooden spoon, not a mixer, a simple fork. I must say that the result was a success each time I made the fish roe dip, so you can surely make it too.
80 g (2.8 oz.) carp fish roe
200 ml (0.85 cup) sunflower oil
60 ml (1/4 cup) sparkling water
Juice from 1 small lemon
25 g (1/4 cup) fine dry breadcrumbs
1 red onion
Olives for serving
- In a bowl, use a fork to start mixing the fish roe with the fine dry breadcrumbs until combined.
- Start adding a few drops of sunflower oil, and fully incorporate them in the mixture.
- Add a teaspoon of sparkling water, then incorporate it as well.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice, then incorporate them in the mixture.
- Repeat these steps until you get a fluffy composition which has changed its color from medium brown to a lighter, pinkish brown.
- You can mix the finely chopped onion with the fish roe dip and serve it like that, or garnish it with olives and serve with the chopped onion on the side, in a separate bowl.