What is Masago – Benefits And Side Effects Of Capelin Fish Eggs

Masago is the most common ingredient that gained popularity recently among sushi rolls. If you like to eat sushi rolls then there is a high chance that you would also like Masago as well.

Masago is the orange-red fish eggs that Sushi’s chefs are using to add flavor, texture, and color in the rolls and food. These Masago eggs come from small fishes like salmon, sturgeon, and herring.

These small fishes are also known as the Capelin fish. Masago has a transparent appearance and it also look like jelly. These fish eggs are distinctive and mild in the flavor that makes the Masago more nutritious. (1)

What Is Masago?

What Is Masago?

Masago is also known as the Smelt roe, it is the fish egg that is edible. Capelin fish belong to the smelt family they are also considered as forage fish.

Capelin fish are primarily found in the northern hemisphere in the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic ocean. These capelin fish are an important food source for larger sea animals such as whales, seabirds, and codfish.

These small silvery-green capelin fish looks like the sardines.  The flesh of the capelin fish is edible and considered in many aquatic systems across the world. Fishermen are using capelin fish to make many products, such as Masago.

80% of harvest capelin fish has been used to produce fish oil, fish oil capsules, and fishmeal. And all the remaining 20 % of capelin fish are using to produce the smelt masago roe. Female capelin fish start releasing eggs around 2 to 4 years of age and they release smelt roe until death.

Masago is harvesting from the female capelin by cutting them when the fish is full of the eggs and also before the release of eggs. Smelt roe is one of the common masago ingredients that can use in the Masago sushi rolls.

Fish roe is generally a portion of healthy food, According to the United States OF Department Of Agriculture, fish roe is low in calories and high in proteins.

The Health benefits of smelt roe are countless which include vitamins, magnesium, and fatty acids. These nutrients can help you to reduce inflammation and protect your brain from oxidative damage. It also helps to improve brain power.

According to one study, Masago roe is high in fats that can improve the learning ability and also lower the fat in the blood. 

What Does Smelt Taste like? 

As you know, masago or smelt roe is one of the most prized ingredients that are used in sushi. Although, these smelts are small in size, but don’t go by their size.

These small orange balls or black capelin caviar balls are capable of turning a simple sushi dish into something more classy and extravagant.

The capelin roe has a crunchy texture and these smelt taste salty and sweet at the same time, with a hint of bitterness. If you love sushi then you are sure to relish the savory taste of the masago that smells like the ocean but it is not the overpoweringly fishy.

Due to the super taste masago is popularly used as the fillings in California rolls and as the topping in uramaki.

In many sushi Masago restaurants, people choose to use Masago instead of tobiko because these smelts are tastier and look great.

Nutritional Values Of Smell Roe 

Nutritional Values Of Smell Roe

One ounce(28 grams) smell roe contains: (2)

  • Riboflavin (B2): 12% 
  • Vitamin B12: 47%
  • Folate (B9): 6% 
  • Selenium: 16%  
  • Phosphorus: 11%
  • Calories: 40
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbs: less than 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 7% 
  • Vitamin E: 10% 

Masago Is Low In Calories And High In Nutrients 

Masago Is Low In Calories

Masago eggs are low in calories and high in other beneficial nutrients. Fish roe is high in vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients that your body needs.

Vitamin B12 that present in the fish eggs is critical for good health, such as it increases the red blood cells, manages the energy production, DNA synthesis, and nerve transmission. (3)

Fish eggs are a superfood to eat because it is low in carbs and high in protein and other fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids.

The healthy fats that present in the fish eggs can regulate the inflammation and make your heart healthy, boost the immune system, lungs and balance the hormones. (4)

Fish eggs are loaded with the amino acids that provide the protein especially glutamine, lysine, and leucine. (5)(6)

Masago Vs Tobiko 

Masago Vs Tobiko

Most of the people are confused about the Masago eggs and tobiko eggs. Tobiko is a flying fish eggs and they are in reddish orangey color. The flavor of tobiko eggs is smokey and they are expensive than the masago eggs.

That’s why masago is using as a popular substitute from the tobiko in sushi rolls. Capelin fish eggs are smaller than the flying fish eggs and they are in crunchy texture.

Tobiko is also high in protein and other omega-3 fatty acids like the other fish roe contain. Flying fish eggs are also protects your liver and heart, it also reduces the inflammation and improves the learning capacity. But flying fish eggs are high in cholesterol. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Masago Eggs?

Health benefits of Masago Eggs

1. Rich in Omega-3

Masago egg is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that make your heart healthy and also linked with the various health benefits.

These polyunsaturated fats can regulate the inflammation, control the blood clotting and other integral parts of the cell membranes. (7)

According to the researcher’s high dietary intake of foods are rich in omega-3 fats that lower the risk of heart, such as coronary artery disease, and heart failure. (8)

2. Low in Mercury 

Masago eggs are low in mercury and also a healthy food for pregnancy. pregnant. According to the study, it is a healthy and safe food for those people who want to keep their mercury exposure minimum. Even it is safe food for the pregnant women to consume. (9)

3. Vitamin D

Fish roe is a good source of selenium and vitamin D that our body needs. Well, these are the essential nutrient that our body needs, but we do not take them in good quantities. The deficiency of vitamin D can cause various health-related issues such as fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Consuming fish roe can help to fight depression. (10)

4. High In Protein 

This tiny small masago is one of the great sources of protein. A single 1-ounce or serving Masago contains the 6 grams of high-quality protein which is about the same as one large egg. 

Protein is the filling of all the nutrients that can be followed by fat and carbs.

Adding protein-rich foods in your diet can help you to fuller for a longer time and help you to prevent overeating, which can lead you to weight loss.

It also ignites the metabolism in your body to lose weight. Fish roe is a great source of protein, which means it contains all the nine amino acids that our body needs.

Being a great source of protein and low in calories, that is why eating more fish eggs in your meals can help you to feel fuller and also maintain or lose weight.  

5. Contain Vitamin B12

Masago is also a great source of vitamin B12 that your body needs the most.

In the developed countries the vitamin B12 deficient isn’t all that widespread in the younger populations, but it is estimated that which affects the 6% of those peoples who are age 60 or younger.

That means that among the elderly, this deficiency is quite prevalent. Those who are deficient in vitamin B12 may have the symptoms include tingling or numbness in the extremities, lost balance, weakness, fatigue, anemia, cognitive difficulties, and inflammation of the tongue.

But if the vitamin B12 levels are not deficient but are sub-optimal, then it is possible that the person may experience these issues too.

Being rich in vitamin B12 adding fish eggs to the diet can help to boost the vitamin B12 stores. Eating masago can also help you to protect your cognitive and physical function. 

6. It Contains A Natural Source Of Selenium

Masago is a great source of selenium, a mineral that can act as a powerful antioxidant in the body.

As the omega-3 fatty acids, selenium is also a nutrient that can up your intake of, or you are eating more seafood such as masago.

The concentrated amounts that are found in seafood such as selenium can reduce oxidative stress and also plays a critical role in the thyroid and immune system.

Masago is also high in vitamin B12, which is important for the nerve health and energy production, as well as it also important for bodily functions

Side Effects Of Masago 

side effect of Masago

1. High In Sodium

Masago is high in sodium so high intake of it, is not good for the health. Because consuming a high amount of sodium content can high the levels of salt in the body, which is not good for health. High salt can increase the blood pressure level and have a negative impact on your health.

2. Ecological concerns

Masago contains various health-related benefits and it isn’t safe as compared to the other kinds of seafood. But aware that once there is overfishing of these marine animals. The masago is a part of this endangered species. 

3. Allergy 

Lots of people are allergic to seafood, so, if you are allergic to seafood then avoid consuming masago. Because fish roe can trigger the allergic reaction in these people. It may lower the blood pressure, foot rashes, and narrowing of airways. 

How To Use Masago In Sushi?

Masago In Sushi

As The Topping And Garnish

This is perhaps the most common use of masago and movies and the novices that often believe this is the only way they are eaten.

The bright orange fish eggs not only make sushi rolls look aesthetically pleasing but also add a crunchy texture to it. Masago also mostly add to an inside out California roll when the sushi rice is on the outside.

The sticky consistency of the rice that can help in sticking the roe fish. While I prefer to sprinkle masago on the sushi rice before flipping the roll, some people masago add the masago after they are done rolling it.

For doing this just place the nori on the bamboo mat, then take a medium ball of sushi rice and spread it over the rice and press it gently to ensure that it sticks to the rice and then flip the nori.   

As Filling Inside The Roll:

You can also add the Masago in sushi as the fillings. Adding it as the filling tends to a distinct flavor to the roll without being overpowering.

You may also add a line of masago to make the rolls and enhance the taste and crunchiness. For doing this fist you need to place the main filling such as avocado slice, cucumber strips, or the raw fish in a row.

Then take the 1 teaspoon of masago and make a line just beside the main fillings. If you want then you can also add more masago and after that start rolling it. 

Masago As The Decoration On Sushi:

In some varieties of sushi such as a paterpulls roll of the Godzilla roll, masago plays a key role in the presentation.

These rolls are having interesting names that are based on the way that they appear on the outside. Just like in the caterpillar’s rolls masago may be used to add some more character to the sushi.

While some chefs may also add a dollop of masago on almost every type of sushi for enhancing the presentation when serving the pieces on a plate. 

Masago With Sashimi And Nigiri:

Masago not only use in the sushi roll alone. But it can also be used in other sushi varieties such as nigiri and sashimi. Sashimi refers to just fine and thin slices of raw fish or meat.

That can serve with soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. Sashimi also make with masago and serve in a cup that can be made out of thin pee of cucumber, lime, and thin avocado slices.

On the other hand, Nigiri a rice bed topped with raw fish or seafood and it is also shaped with the hands. When the Masago use in the nigiri. Then it may serve in a bowl or wraps with the dried seaweed. 

Where To Buy Masago?

You can buy Masago from online stores that are Walmart, Amazon, and also from the grocery store. Masago for sale is also available on the big online stores. Masago’s price will be different according to the size and number of the pack that you buy.  

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