Bottarga, or the salted and pressed eggs of tuna or red mullet, is an ingredient that is sadly missing from many of our kitchens. Bottarga was developed on the Italian island of Sardinia. It is used much in the way that anchovies are, as an underlying enforcing ingredient. Making bottarga at home is a simple as burying fish eggs in salt and then letting them dry out. In this version I use lobster eggs. Obtaining lobster eggs is fairly straightforward; purchase a live female lobster and remove the egg sacks. You can source lobster eggs by themselves, but most of the time there’s a 1-pound minimum. Try grating them over scrambled eggs or pasta. You’ll wonder where bottarga has been your whole life.
- Lobster eggs (If you cannot source lobster eggs then talk to your fishmonger about other options. Fluke, mullet, and shad roe sacks work great.)
- 1 pound kosher or sea salt
Spread a layer of salt on the bottom of a non-reactive dish. Lay the lobster eggs on the salt and completely cover them with more salt. Leave them out at room temperature for 24–36 hours. Then remove the eggs from the salt and briefly rinse them under cold water. Set the eggs on a drying rack in your fridge and let them dry out until they’re hard. Once dry, the eggs are shelf stable and can be stored in a mason jar in your pantry for up to one year.