One of the courses we run here is Cooking for Men which includes some smoking.  Last week whilst at the fish market we saw they had fresh Cod’s Roe.  (Huevos de Lluc) and jumped at the opportunity to do it. We have two smokers here a big one that can do ribs, joints and whole birds and a little Camerons one that is a perfect size for a couple of chicken breasts or two small fish or some cheese and of course cod’s roe.

Small smoker Camerons

Sawdust at the ready

Smoked roe for Taramasalata

Ready for the Roe.

Smoking on a small scale

Ready for some heat

Simon used olive and apple wood shavings and lit the chiminea outside with a few sticks of olive wood for a heat source.  He smoked them for maybe half and hour and the result was wonderful.


how to prepare Cods roe for Taramasalata

Cods Roe Smoked over Olive and Apple sawdust

Smoked Cods Roe to make Taramasalata

Freshly smoked Cods Roe


Sweet and delicately smokey still soft to the touch. I checked  an Elizabeth David recipe and hers was for smoked and dried roe so mine got less water than hers did.  When it is smoked the skin comes off very easily. That’s the first job.

Don’t be tempted to use a food processor or liquidiser for this; use a pestle and mortar or rolling pin and bowl. Pound up a couple of cloves of garlic in the bowl. I had two whole roe and  it weighed about 400g in all. So it is one clove per roe.  Add the skinned roe and break it up with a fork before pounding it together with the garlic.

Slowly dribble in about a half a lemon’s worth of lemon juice, and then  even more slowly you add the olive oil.  If its too dry add water not more lemon. You know the consistency you are looking for from what you have had from a supermarket…that’s what you are looking for.  But this won’t be pink!

If you want it to go further and be less “fishy” it is still authentic and delicious to add bread crumbs, Add them a bit at a time till you are happy with taste and texture.

Good with lettuce, salad bits.or flat breads or home made bread or toast or crackers…