The taste and appearance of salmon roe (red caviar) directly depend on how you store it. In our last research on how to store salmon roe, we concluded that salmon roe can be frozen. Now let’s find out how to freeze and defrost salmon roe to preserve its nutritional value and taste.
How long does salmon roe last in the freezer? Salmon roe can last up to a year in the freezer, provided that it was salted, pasteurized and packaged in a sealed container. Fish roe can be kept in the freezer for up to a year.
How to freeze salmon roe? Here are some tips on how to freeze salmon roe:
- Before freezing, salmon roe must be placed in a colander and rinsed, letting excess liquid drain. Then the caviar is salted with a little vegetable oil and sorbic acid added to it.
- Put the salted salmon roe in small clean, dry glass containers. Seal the containers.
- Put the salmon rot in the freezer, set to the “fast freeze” mode.
- Make sure there are no temperature drops in the freezer.
The salmon roe for freezing must be natural, of high quality and fresh. It must have a uniform color, crumbly structure. If you have purchased salmon roe by weight, it must be frozen on the first or second day after purchase. If the salmon roe is canned, it must be frozen no more than 3-4 days after opening. After opening the tin, the caviar must be poured into a glass container.
Before freezing, salmon roe must be placed in a colander to remove the liquid. Some advise you to rinse the caviar with drinking water, re-salt and pack in jars. But after this freezing method, the caviar turns out to be more watery, and the eggs may burst. Therefore, I recommend that you simply drain the liquid from the caviar, gently stirring it with a spoon in a sieve.
If you intend to increase the shelf life of caviar, do everything possible to lose the valuable qualities of the delicacy. It is necessary to use dry and clean jars (made of glass) for storage, which can be hermetically closed, and monitor the temperature in the freezer to reduce the risk of temperature fluctuations.
Next, you need to prepare the container for freezing. Do not freeze caviar in plastic containers or disposable cups so that the salty product does not react with the polymer material. You should use glass containers instead.
In glass jars, gently spoon the caviar, filling in 50-80 or 100 grams. The smaller the volume, the easier it will be to eat it within 1-2 days after defrosting. Pour odorless vegetable oil into each jar of caviar — 1 tsp for 50 g of caviar. Gently shake the jar so that the vegetable oil is distributed throughout the caviar. You do not need to stir with a spoon. Vegetable oil during freezing will protect the eggs from breaks and damage. Salmon roe frozen in this way will retain its appearance, structure, and taste.
Close the jars with caviar very tightly with a lid, pack in several bags, and tying them tightly. Caviar is a very delicate product. If during freezing it absorbs foreign odors, its quality will be lost forever.
Sign the jars of caviar, indicating the product’s weight, the type of the caviar (chum salmon, pink salmon, trout, etc.), and the date of freezing. Place the salmon roe containers in the freezer at -18 degrees.
If you immediately get the frozen salmon roe from the freezer and put it on the table in a warm room, then there is a high probability of getting a sticky watery substance instead of salmon eggs.
It is strictly forbidden to refreeze salmon roe. Not only will the salmon roe lose all its vitamins and nutrients, but it can also be dangerous for your health.
Why can salmon roe freezing be dangerous? In salmon roe composition, there are many substances (amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, useful minerals) that are destroyed or lose some of their properties at low temperatures. In particular, when frozen, vitamins of groups B and E are not preserved. Also, eggs burst under the influence of low temperatures, the liquid flows out, and the product turns into a homogeneous mush.
Under the right conditions of freezing, useful vitamins and microelements are preserved (their loss is no more than 15%, while as much as 30% is lost during heat treatment)
Of course, fresh salmon roe is a lot better than frozen, but if you follow all the rules above, salmon roe will preserve its structure, appearance and nutrients.
Defrosting Salmon Roe
If you choose to freeze salmon roe, you need to know how to defrost it properly. Let’s dive into the details.
How do you defrost salmon roe? Defrost salmon roe on the fridge’s bottom shelf at a temperature of +5°C for 12 hours. Then move the salmon roe to a cool windowsill or a top shelf of the fridge and leave for another hour. Once the roe is thawed, it is ready to be served. Caviar will not be watery or smell fishy after gradual defrosting.
Do not re-freeze caviar. After defrosting, it should be eaten within 1-2 days. The shelf life of caviar in the freezer is 12 months at a temperature of -18°C. Make sure that there are no temperature fluctuations in the freezer.
No matter how correctly and consistently you defrost the caviar, its taste will differ from the original, and, most likely, it will not be possible to avoid damaged and deformed eggs.
Freezing is not the best way to store red caviar, but it can be used if you follow the rules in this article. Salmon roe will not lose its quality if it is frozen in fast freeze mode.