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Cisco Roe with Saffron-Garlic Aioli

Eat Wisconsin Fish / Cisco Roe with Saffron-Garlic Aioli



  • 4 oz. jar cisco roe (a.k.a. Lake Superior Gold Caviar, Lojrom, Herring Caviar)
  • 1 minced garlic clove, large
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Crackers or bread
  • Parsley flakes


Make the saffron-garlic aioli:

  • Crumble saffron threads into the hot water in a small bowl. Steep 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, lemon juice, salt and egg yolks in a blender and puree to combine. Add the saffron and water. Puree until smooth.
  • With the blender running, drizzle in olive oil until the whole mixture emulsifies into a mayonnaise-like consistency. Taste for salt and acid, adding more lemon juice and/or salt as desired.
  • Put the aioli in the refrigerator. Serve cold.

Assemble the appetizers:

  • Put a generous slather of aioli on the cracker or a slice of toasted bread cut into quarters.
  • Add a generous dollop of cisco roe on top of the aioli and spread around.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.

Note: Aioli is a Spanish-influenced, mayonnaise-like spread. It can last in the fridge for several days. You might also love it on fried or poached fish. This recipe is inspired by the team at International Catering Co. of Madison, Wisc., and Hank Shaw’s aioli recipe.