Kazunoko (Seasoned Herring Roe)

Japanese New Year's dishes are called "osechi ryori." Each ingredient and dish contains its own meaning and wish. Because it comes with many eggs, kazunoko represents the hope for prosperity of one's descendants. This traditional recipe uses dried kazunoko.

Kazunoko (Seasoned Herring Roe)
Photographed by Akio Takeuchi

Recipe by
Yoko Arimoto





Calorie count is for full recipe.
Does not include time needed to rehydrate and marinate the herring roe. With dried roe, the whole process will take 4-5 days; for salted roe, 2 days.


  • 4-5 dried kazunoko

    Dried herring roe. Will keep for 2-3 years at room temperature. If unavailalble, use salted herring roe.

  • [Marinade]

    • 300 ml dashi
    • 50 ml sake
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • A pinch of salt

      Since salt water is used to rehydrate the kazunoko, only a small amount is needed.

  • A handful of skipjack shavings



Rehydrate the dried kazunoko by soaking in salt water (1 tsp of salt to 1 liter of water) for 3-4 days, making sure to change the water every day. When plump and fully reconstituted, drain the kazunoko and wash thoroughly. Rub off any remaining membrane.


If using salted instead of dried kazunoko, soak in salt water for 24 hours to desalinate and rehydrate. Soak any longer and you may end up removing too much of the salt.


Mix the [marinade] in a bowl.


Lay the kazunoko out in an airtight container and cover with [marinade]. Place a piece of gauze over the kazunoko. Wrap the handful of skipjack shavings in the gauze, to enhance the umami flavor. Close the lid of the container and refrigerate for over a day to marinate the kazunoko.


An additional amount of skipjack shavings has already been added to the marinade (a technique called 'oi-gatsuo'), so there's no need to sprinkle skipjack shavings over the kazunoko when serving.


To store: Refrigerate along with the additional skipjack shavings.