Bottarga, Version 1

While I was posting about bottarga, I came across another instructional that said letting it dry salted under the sun. In the heat of the summer with the temperatures sizzling at about 36 degrees recently, I knew that was going to be easy. So for one set of roe, I salted and letting it dry inside the house, while the other one was getting a tan.

Tanned finish bottarga
Tanned finish bottarga

Of course, as expected, the tanned one (or sundried one) cured faster. It was completely dry after 5 days. I resalted it almost everyday, still placing it on some napkins for the moisture being leached out of the roe. It does smell kinda fishy, but no stronger than those dried fish being sold in the market. It was actually smellier upon opening of the initial packaging. That was a stench. But this dried one was fishy smelly in a mouth-watering kind of way. Though honestly, that description can only be appreciated by people who grew up or learned to love eating dried salted fish or daing.

The pale one
The pale one

The other pale one (versus tanned) is still slowly drying. It is remarkably thinner and less fragile than the past few days, but a few more days of curing will finish it. And that will be version 2.

While I was smelling and tugging at the tanned bottarga (version 1), I tried a bit of the roe that was falling off the sac. And it just tasted like any dried fish. I don’t know yet what’s so special about it… I have read about making pasta out of bottarga, but then, if it simply tasted like dried fish, i could h ave blitzed any dried fish in the food processor and ended up with the same flavor? But let’s see, I don’t wanna judge it until I have tried it. 🙂


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