How to use masago
Masago is used on a large scale within the food industry, where it is often used to add great taste and create beautiful dishes. Especially for sushi and asian dishes, masago is a prized and popular ingredient.
Keep reading this article and learn more about masago and the benefits and downsides of eating masago below.
What is masago?
Masago is smelt roe, edible eggs of the capelin fish. The eggs are taken from pregnant female capelin fish.
Learn about the difference between roe and caviar.
Capelin fish, which is a part of the smelt family, are considered a forage fish and are an important food source for larger predators. Despite being edible for humans too, capelin flesh is mostly used as an ingredient in other fish products. And one of these products is masago.
Masago has a rich, salty flavour while still being sweet. The texture is semi-crunchy despite looking soft.
Use masago in Asian cuisine and more
Masago is a beautiful and delicious ingredient that can be incorporated in food in numerous ways. The semi-crunchy texture and salty flavour makes it perfect to asian inspired dishes and appetizers.
The beautiful colour and the crunchy texture is especially a great match for sushi rolls and as topping to other sushi dishes. Masago is often served in different types of uramaki such as California rolls. Masago is also used as filling inside sushi rolls and gunkan maki. This way the masago enhances the taste and at the same time adds a crunchiness to it.
Sashimi and nigiri are sushi dishes where you might also add masago. In these dishes, the salty taste might be perfectly combined with fish, soy sauce and ginger.
The best thing about masago is that it is not only limited to the asian cuisine. It can also be used in many Western dishes too. But be careful with the doses as you properly do not wish an all deafening taste of salt.
If you want to, masago can be enjoyed unaccompanied. As mentioned before, masago has a rich taste, great texture and beautiful color, which definitely is enough for you to enjoy as it is.
Last but not least, masago gives you the opportunity to be creative.
Where to use masago
- Sushi rolls
- Sushi dishes
- Poke bowls
- Asian inspired dish
- Salty dishes
Who can use masago
- Sushi restaurants
- Sushi for supermarkets
- In-shop sushi
- Seafood vendors
- Creative Home Chefs
Downsides on eating masago
Even though masago has a delicious taste and is rich in vitamin D and omega-3, there are still some downsides to eating masago.
First of all is it a problem harvesting the pregnant female capelin. Being pregnant, the female capelin carries the capelin of the future. And if pregnant capelins are harvested, the amount of capelin shrinks. As the capelin fish is a forage fish, it is an important part of the food chain for the larger predators
It is important to mention that eating masago contains a risk of fish allergic reactions. Furthermore capelin has a high level of sodium, which in larger amounts can be problematic, especially for people with high blood pressure or heart problems.
Tosago – A sustainable alternative to masago
As mentioned, eating masago is not without effect. To secure the future fish stocks, Cavi-art® has made a much more sustainable alternative – Tosago®.
Tosago® is a sustainable plant-based alternative to masago and tobiko. Being produced from seaweed it is both vegetarian and vegan friendly. People with allergies for shellfish and fish can enjoy the product without any concerns.
Tosago® can replace capelin roe in the industry and in the supermarket. It does not need refrigeration, but is stable at room temperature. Furthermore, Tosago® has a 2 year long shelf life, and it can last up to one month after opening the can.
Do you need Tosago® with different colours? Do not worry. It comes in a wide variety of colours made from only natural ingredients.
Important facts about Tosago®:
- Sustainable and environmentally friendly
- Vegetarian and vegan friendly
- Alternative to masago and tobiko
- No allergens
Benefits of Tosago®:
- Does not need refrigeration or freezing
- Has long shelf life
- Easy to stack and store
- Different colours from natural colourants
- Stable price
- Security of supply
- Produced in Denmark
The bottom line
Masago is colourant and tasteful with a semi-crunch texture which makes it perfect for sushi rolls, sushi dishes as well as other asian inspired dishes. Many restaurants use masago as either a main part of the dish or as a beautiful garnish.
But masago is fish roe harvested from the capelin fish, a forage fish important to other predators. Harvesting the capelin fish for its eggs consequently affects marine life.
For that reason, Cavi-art® offers Tosago® – a sustainable substitute for masago. A vegan product with great taste, texture and a variant of colours.