Advice on Curing Roe



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  • Advice on Curing Roe

    For the first time, I tried curing a batch of silver eggs using the powdered dye that is available in most retail stores. Overall, I'm pleased with the color and texture of the final product.

    However, I'm finding that the dyed skeins easily stain my hands during handling. My obvious concern is that this will occur while fishing -- resulting in pink hands, pink rod, pink reel, pink clothes and pink anything else that comes in contact with the roe.

    Aside from wearing latex gloves on the river, I'm wondering whether there is a way to help alleviate the staining problem during the curing process. I air dried the eggs on a screen overnight, but am thinking that the roe still may have contained too much moisture, which contributed to the color transfer. To further aid in drying, I blasted the eggs with a fan. Perhaps, I should have butterflied the skeins as well.

    Meanwhile, I decided to vacuum seal the cured skeins in quart-size bags and store in the freezer. Would it be wise to coat the eggs in borax first?

    Thanks for any words of wisdom regarding this matter.

  • #2

    I gave this stuff a try this year because I too hate the pink fingers. It comes in a variety of colors, I went with "natural" to avoid any color. It's very easy to use and cures the roe quite well. So far the silvers seem to love it and no pink fingers!

    edit: You can find it locally at Walmart


    • #3
      Fish Candy!

      On the lower Pacific waters a buddy of mine showed me years ago this trick for curing Roe. Use 2 1/2-Cups sugar,1/2cup salt and 4cups water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cut roe into fishing size chunks. put roe into HOT water mixture and stir slowly every so often for 20min. remove and let cool on paper towels overnight. Gels the eggs up nicely,no mess, no pink anything. You can play with the Brine mixture to get different textures. The salmon, trout, and steelhead love it! We call it Fish Candy. Good Luck!


      • #4
        Pink Fingers?

        I use a powdered cure for my eggs. There are a few things that can help you out with the pink finger syndrome:

        1. Use latex gloves while processing the eggs. I too leave mine out on a rack overnight to dry.
        2. Sprinkle the eggs with borax in the morning. This will soak up any remaining liquid and help to keep things clean
        3. Keep a bucket of water and hand towel on board to quickly rinse your hands after handling the bait

        The sugar/salt cure is good, however will not preserve the bait. Truth be known, many of the commercial cures are sugar/salt type of cures with either Kool-Aid or Jello as a coloring agent (raspberry seems to be a very good color). Some will use a chemical preservative that is also used in photo labs: sodium bisulfate. This is available at many sporting goods stores, ebay, photo shops or other places that you can buy chemicals.

        I used to wear latex on the boat but found it to be way more problem than it was worth. If you rinse each time, your hands will stay clean.

        Good luck


        • #5
          Borax after

          Ditto on the last entry....sometimes I will dry them for 2 or 3 days for proper texture. They freeze great that way too.


          • #6
            Why cure it?

            I guess this is going to be a dumb question, but why cure roe? We use regular good old roe, freshly frozen and its worked for us. I just cant see jello, sugar and dies being "natural" for fish.....but ok!

            Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


            • #7
              AKTrapper, the reason for curing is that it lasts longer on and off the hook ie:freezing, plus it "milks" better in the water. At least that is my experience.


              • #8
                Salt & Sugar

                Cut the roe into managable chunks, lay them on a large piece of ply wood and sprinkle a mixture of salt and sugar on one side. The next day turn them over and sprinkle some more of the magical mixture, and at the end of the day put them in the cheap throw away cuppawear. When you are finished place them in the freezer.

                Sometimes if I want softer roe I will only cure one side overnight.

                Try it once and you will never use the other stuff again.


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