Masago is the roe of capelin, and capelin fish’s ripened egg. Generally, Capelin are also known as Mallotus villosus, is the forage or grazing fish primarily living in the cold waters of the oceans such as the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Arctic Ocean and belongs the the “Smelt” family.
The roe or egg of Capelin, an Atlantic and Artic fish, is known as Masago. Masago is bland and dull and frequently dyed before being eaten to improve its appearance. While Masago has a decent flavor, it lacks the same distinct crunch and is, in general, a less interesting and adaptable element in sushi than Tobiko or other fish.
Masago is the capelin fish’s ripened egg, where whales, puffins, seals, Atlantic cod, Atlantic mackerel, squid, and other ocean predators rely heavily on capelin fish for food. Capelins primarily consume plankton, but they will consume larger crustaceans if they can find them.
Capelin eggs (masago) are extracted and consumed in a variety of East Asian countries. It is a popular ingredient in certain types of sushi, but most people are unaware that capelin eggs are a superfood too.
This blog is all going to cover all the nutritional aspects of the roe of the Capelin, i.e Masago (Capelin’s eggs):
Apart from Masago, capelin fishes have also proven worthy to provide value in the form of fish oil products and fish oil. These silver-colored fish, are also used to provide other consumable things apart from Masago.
Nutritional Value of Masago:
Besides its delicious taste, Masago is a low-calorie food and a good source of protein and has some amazing nutritional value added to it. Let’s explore more about it:
Nutritional value per 14 gm
|Carbs||Less than ½ gm|
|Vitamin E||10% of the DV|
|Vitamin C||7% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Vitamin D||32.34 IU|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.0875 mg|
|Folate (B9)||6% of the DV|
|Vitamin B12||2.8 mcg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.525 mg|
Dishes where Masago is incorporated:
Masago is generally used in most Japanese dishes, as a topping, filling, and garnishing means.
Here is the list of dishes where it is used as an ingredient of garnishing, topping, or to enhance the flavor of the recipe:
- Toppings on Sushi rolls
- Fillings in sushi rolls
Health benefits of Masago:
1. Weight loss
As Masago is a low-calorie food and high in protein, it helps in killing the cravings of an individual for a longer duration of time, which results in consuming fewer calories. Also eating protein makes your stomach contented and satisfied for a longer period and also protein works as a powerhouse in the making of muscles. Apart from that, these eggs are filled with lots of amino acids which are the main elements present in protein.
2. Increases strength of bones
Masago is loaded with Vitamin D, which will indirectly make your bones strong and reduce any bone loss in the future with the process of aging. Along with increasing the strength of bones, Masago has also set their foot and have been a helping hand in treating osteoporosis.
3. Anti ageing
Masago being the powerhouse of antioxidants reduces oxidative stress and slows down the whole process of aging.
4. Improves Thyroid and Immune system
Masago being filled with Selenium, is effective in improving thyroid and immune system, thus reducing oxidative stress. It also helps in making and the continuation of the making of the DNA.
5. Reduces heart problems
As Masago is rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids, it aids in maintaining the lower blood pressure, resulting in reducing the chances of cardiac arrest and along with that reduces the chances of heart attack and stroke and also minimizes the chances of abnormal heart rhythm. Those eggs can save you from having a lot of trouble including coronary artery disease and heart failure.
Along with solving some heart problems, they have also given some good results in preventing blood clotting, regulates cell membranes too.
6. Lower in mercury
Foods that have a higher amount of mercury in it can eventually lead your body to go through hazardous problems. But worry not, fishes like Capelin contain a low amount of mercury as compared to other fishes.
Drawbacks of Masago:
You may all have heard that there are always two signs of the coin, one is good and the other one is bad. In this case, also, you might see some drawbacks of Masago, they are listed below:
- As Masago is already salty and when it is mixed with another salty food that can ultimately bring a hike in the rise of sodium content in your body which can result in hazardous effects indirectly resulting in increased blood pressure.
- Masago being a fish food has also proved to give some allergic reactions to some of the people. Some people might be allergic to seafood, then these people are highly recommended to stay away from seafood as their body is naturally resistant to seafood.
How does Masago taste?
Mainly, Masago is found to be pale yellow-colored eggs but while used in making recipes, artificial colors are added to them such as orange, green, and red color which generally adds more beauty to the dish and make it appear appealing. Generally, they have a salty and sweet taste with some bitterness and crunchiness added to them.
Are Masago and Caviar the same thing?
Vaguely, Masago and Caviar are both the eggs (roe) of fish but belong to different species such as Masago belongs to the roe of the Capelin, thus Caviar is the roe of “Sturgeon” fish. To sum up, both, Masago and Caviar are very much different from each other.
Here, are some of the differences between Masago and Caviar:
Masago – They are sweet, salty, and at the same time bitter.
Caviar – Caviar is mostly salty.
Masago – They are most likely to be in the color of pale yellow/bright orange.
Caviar – Caviars vary from amber or green to deep black.
Masago – As compared to Caviar, Masago are cheap.
Caviar – Caviar is costlier than Masago.
Masago – Masago is generally found to be very tiny in size as compared to Caviar
Caviar – Caviar is naturally bigger than Masago, almost a size of a pea.
- Nutritional value
Masago – Masago is loaded with nutritional value such as fatty acids, Vitamin B-12, Selenium, Sodium, protein, magnesium, etc.
Caviar – Caviar is filled with vitamins and minerals such as Amino acids (Glutamic acid, Lysin Phenylalanine and, Leucine), Omega-3 fatty acids and, healthy fats.
What is Masago Sushi?
You can have lovely Masago as a topping on Sushi roll or Sushi rice. This is the most common application of masago, which provides a brilliant colour and crunchy texture to sushi rolls like the California Roll.
Apart from an outstanding taste, it is a popular meal that has the potential to cause health concerns. Furthermore, sushi is typically made with farmed fish, processed carbohydrates, and dubious additives. Sushi contains raw fish, which raises your risk of parasite infections and foodborne diseases.
How to add masago in sushi?
- Make an inside-out sushi, such as a California roll, according to the directions.
- After cutting the roll into small pieces, sprinkle the masago on top of the sushi.
- You may use a spoon or your hands to distribute the masago.
Where to get Masago?
You can get Masago online on Amazon or you can purchase it from any Japanese grocery store.
As good as Masago is in providing taste and adding it up the dishes, the more it has proved its worth in the health industry too, resulting in improving so many aspects and treating so many cures single-handedly.
By far, Masago has been “Small Packet, Big Bang” and has been able to continue maintaining that reputation now also.