Tobiko is one of the most valued sushi roe, applied as a finishing touch and garnish to rolls as well as enjoyed on its own by true lovers of the dish. According to Wikipedia Tobiko is «the Japanese word for flying fish roe. It is most widely known for its use in creating certain types of sushi.The eggs are small, ranging from 0.5 to 0.8 mm. For comparison, tobiko is larger than masago (capeline roe), but smaller than ikura(salmon roe). Natural tobiko has a red-orange color, a mild smoky or salty taste, and a crunchy texture.» source
The original color of tobiko is an orangey- red, it’s crunchy and it has a smoky, slightly sweet and salty flavor.
The main distinguishing feature of tobiko is its incredible ability to infuse with other natural ingredients to change its color and flavor. For making it black we can use squid ink. Yuzu is used to make it yellow, beet to make it red, soy to make it brown and wasabi to make it green and spicy and hot. Primarily this roe is applied for aesthetics, sometimes for enriching the flavor or improving texture. There is a great variety of this product usage. Let’s look at some of them.
1) SUSHI. What is Sushi? “Vinegared Rice, usually seasoned with Rice Vinegar, Sugar and Salt. The word Sushi comes from Su(vinegar) Meshi(rice) in Japanese. Sushi comes in many forms and varieties.”
One way of using roe is to cover rolls for decorative purposes (as in famouse California rolls):
Other is to put a tablespoon on top to emphasize the taste:
2) In type of nigiri called GUNKAN. What is Nigiri?
«A type of Sushi. The correct term is Nigiri-Zushi. Neta (ingredients) on top of small Sushi Rice. Nigiri means to squeeze, to grab in Japanese, referring to the movement a Chef makes to form Neta and Shari together. Neta on top of the Sushi Rice can be fish, vegetables or meats, where fish being the most widely served and consumed.
Gunkan is one type of Nigiri made ina form of battleship.» https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-sushi-sashimi-and-nigiri One way to make gunkan is take a ball of rice and wrap it in a sheet of seaweed, then put a lot of tobiko on the top.
Another way is to mix pieces of avacado with flying fish roe (the wide choice is here) and wrap it in soy cover:
OR mix salmon(or other fish) with tobiko and experiment with colors to make your own masterpiece:
3)CHIRASHIZUSHI also known as scattered sushi is a kind of dish where all ingredients lie separately in bowls with colorful toppings.
It’s often cooked for celebrating special events, such as festivals, birthdays, and so on. You can use any amount and variety of ingredients and also apply your imagination to create unusual forms of serving.
4) Cook unusual SASHIMI with cucumber, tuna and flying fish roe. This holiday appetizer is a fun venture into the world of Japanese raw fish cuisine. Sashimi does not have rice or seaweed. Usually it is just sliced fish or meat. This recipe is extraordinary. Just put raw tuna on a slice of cucumberand top with flying fish roe. Tobiko makes a beautiful and tasty garnish.
5) One more extravagant dish with orange, salmon and tobiko:
6) Cold tobico pasta is a kind of Mentaiko pasta. This dish has an odd mixture of components. In one way it is Italian and in other it is Japanese. You won’t see in restaurant menu but it does not make it less delicious. Ingredients are: onion, bacon, butter, mentaiko, Japanese mayonnaise, tobiko, nori, angelhair pasta.
7)Easy and colorful = reddish + creme + tobiko
8) And why not to put some tobiko in salad?
Black Tobiko (Fish Egg)pasta salad is beautiful and nourishing. Ingredients are Pasta (Rotini Suggested), Baby Corn (Canned),Black Olive,Cherry Tomato,Corn,Japanese Mayonnaise,Olive Oil,Soy Sauce,Lemon Juice,Salt, Pepper,Butter lettuce.
9)TUNA PIZZA is another kind of Japanese-Italian food. Components are tuna, creamy avocado, jalapenos, scallions, tobiko.
10) An of course we should mention a recipe with eggs. Any kind of fish roe is an ideal partner for boiled eggs.
We talled only about ten ways of tobiko usage. Nevertheless there much more of them. The main thing is that you can be extodinary creative and discover new ways of applying if you have tobiko. Last but not least, Tobiko is full of protein, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. In spite of this, Tobiko should be eaten in moderation because of its high cholesterol content.