Smeralda Whole Bottarga Grey Mullet Roe

Price Size Sale Qty
$49.00 5.3oz (150g)

Smeralda Whole Bottarga Grey Mullet Roe

Bottarga is a delicacy of salted, cured fish roe, typically of the grey mullet or the bluefin tuna (Bottarga di Tonno). Produced around the Mediterranean is where the best-known version of Bottarga is and it has many names and prepared in various ways.

A word about that pellicle: It is, in fact, the membrane that encapsulates the roe sac, which turns papery during the process of curing and drying. While it is not necessary to remove it, it is preferable. As Andrew Feinberg notes in Franny's: Simple, Seasonal, Italian, if you don't peel it off, "it might get caught in your teeth." Generally speaking, I peel only as much as I want to use, much like certain salami with indelibly chewy casings.


The first documented Bottarga production in the Nile Delta is during the 10th century BCE. And, in the 15th century, Martino da Como described the production of bottarga by salting, then smoking to dry it. In Italy, it is made from bluefin tuna in Sicily, and from flathead mullet in Sardinia, where it is called Sardinian butàriga.

Bottarga is usually sliced thinly or grated when served. Sometimes it is prepared from Atlantic bluefin tuna (Bottarga di tonno Rosso) or yellowfin tuna. It is massaged by hand to eliminate air pockets, then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. The result is a hard, dry slab. Formerly, it was generally coated in beeswax to preserve it, as it still is in Greece and Egypt. The curing time may vary depending on the producer and the desired texture as well as the preference of the consumers, which varies by country.

Its culinary properties may be compared to those of dry anchovies, although it is much more expensive. Often, it is served with olive oil or lemon juice as an appetizer accompanied by bread or crostini. It is also used in pasta dishes.

Recommended Serving Suggestions

Bottarga usually is served sliced thinly or grated when it is served. Bottarga is best to eat raw or used to top cooked preparations, almost like garnishes of flakey sea salt. Intensely flavored, a little bottarga goes a long way, so it's best grated on a Microplane or thinly sliced using a mandoline. If it's too soft to grate, try freezing. A single piece of bottarga, when grated, is usually enough for four servings so if there's any leftover, wrap it well and refrigerate or freeze it and it will keep for months. You can also grate bottarga over scrambled eggs, add it to risotto, slow-cooked cannellini beans, or sprinkled over a Caesar salad.


Store Bottarga either vacuum-packed or sealed in beeswax. As long as it hasn't been opened, it's best if used within 15 months but will still be fine for two or three years. Bottarga is sensitive to ultraviolet light, so it is best stored in a dry and dark place.

Aside from the way it tastes, the best part of bottarga is that it effectively keeps indefinitely. Even after you open up the packaging, peel back the pellicle, and grate some over pasta, the remainder will keep, tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, for months and months.

Sample Recipe: Busiate Pasta With Bottarga, Almonds & Prawns


  • 400 grams pasta (either short or long busiate)

  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled)

  • 1 handful fresh basil

  • 1 handful fresh parsley

  • 3 celery stalks

  • 100 grams of almonds

  • 100 grams of bottarga

  • 1/2 glass white wine

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • salt (for pasta)

  • black pepper (to taste)

  • 200 grams prawns (preferably Mazzara)


  • Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta. When it starts boiling, add salt and bring to the boil again.

  • If the prawns are fresh, wash them well, remove the heads, veins and shell, leaving just the tail. (you can also use frozen prawns, preferably still with the tail. In this case just remove most of the shell)

  • Chop the basil, parsley, celery, almonds and garlic finely. I used a food processor for the celery, almonds and garlic.

  • Put the mixture into a frying pan or skillet with the olive oil. Mix together and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

  • Add the prawns and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I didn't add salt as the bottarga is quite salty)

  • Add the white wine and turn up the heat until the alcohol evaporates, then turn the heat off as soon as the prawns are cooked.

  • Cook the pasta al dente in the boiling salted water. When the pasta is ready, save a cup of the cooking water and drain. 

  • Reheat the prawns with some of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and mix everything together well. If the sauce seems dry, add more pasta cooking water.

  • Serve immediately with a generous sprinkling of bottarga.


Smeralda Bottarga di Muggine or Cured Grey Mullet Roe in English is one of the greatest Sardinian products of the Italian culinary tradition. Bottargas are salted and pressed fish roe kept for three to four months in a dark and ventilated room until settled and ready for use.

Bottarga has high protein content and is very rich in Omega3 fatty acid; it is amber in color and has a decided yet delicate flavor.

Suggestion: Stylish and versatile, cut into wafer-thin slices it is an excellent match with fresh vegetables as an ingredient in delicious salads. A joy to the palate on crispy-hot croutons with a trace of butter, or sprinkled and grated over pasta dishes.

5.3 ounce (150 gram) - WEIGHT APPROXIMATES

Ingredients: Mullet roe, salt - no coloring agent or preservatives

Packaging: Vacuumed-sealed Plastic

Product of Italy

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