Rolls with salmon, tobiko caviar, dill, squid, avocado, rice, nori and sauce on a plate
What Are The Different Kinds Of Fish Eggs In Japanese Cuisine?

There are three types of fish roe most frequently used in sushi establishments, and if you sit down for a sushi dinner, chances are you'll get some kind of fish roe with your meal.


(Flying Fish Roe)

Ranging from 0.5 to 0.8 millimeters in size, the naturally red-orange eggs called Tobiko have a mild smoky or salty taste, with a note of sweetness and a crunchy texture.

It can be infused with natural ingredients to change its color and flavor. Apart from adorning maki rolls, it’s often served as sushi or sashimi in a cucumber cup or avocado half.

Masago (Smelt Roe)

Masago consists of eggs from the capelin, a fish in the smelt family. It’s similarly colored to tobiko, but the eggs are visibly smaller and less crunchy.

Mostly used for decoration, both tobiko and masago taste similar, but masago can be slightly more bitter and is a lot less expensive than tobiko.

Ikura (Salmon Roe)

Ikura is notably larger than tobiko and masago and is gooey in texture. It’s so delicate that a bit of force can puncture it, spilling the briny, slightly sweet liquid inside.

It’s most commonly served wrapped in crisp seaweed on top of sushi rice but can also be eaten as sashimi.