An Homage to Nordic Caviar: Salt Roasted New Potatoes with Vendace Roe

An Homage to Nordic Caviar: Salt Roasted New Potatoes with Vendace Roe

You’ll find the most flavor in the subtlest of preparations, that’s the result of cooking with the finest ingredients.  

A colorful plate, with earth-inspired vegetables topped with vendace roe, is one of the most satisfying dishes you’ll ever eat. All the ingredients play a part, everything is beautifully integrated; there’s balance.

You might wonder; how can I achieve a dish with such precision? Well, you can, and you will. But first, you must understand your ingredients, especially the star of this dish: vendace roe.

What is Vendace Roe?  

Vendace is a freshwater white fish that thrives in the northern European lakes. In the same family as salmons and sardines, it comes as no surprise that its meat, and especially its eggs are highly prized. 

The lively, small fish is a delicacy in Finland, Russia, and especially in Sweden, where chefs like Björn Frantzén use it as a crucial element in their menus. 

Vendace roe is brightly orange-colored and intensely flavorful. People have enjoyed the small eggs in the region for centuries for their mild texture and fresh, sea-scented taste.

The Difference Between Fish Roe and Caviar 

Although you’ll find the terms roe and caviar interchangeably, for some experts, there’s a difference. Both are eggs harvested from female fish, but caviar comes from sturgeons, while fish roe is a term used for other species’ eggs.

Often seasoned only with salt, both fish roe, and caviar are delectable and can ask high prices. Both products are best when fresh, and they’re experienced on the palate as small bursting bubbles of sea flavor and enticing fish aromas. 

You don’t have to choose between fish roe and caviar, they both serve a purpose, and complement each other in the kitchen. 

The Most Common Fish Roe and Caviar

Let’s look at the most popular types of fish roe and caviar available. 

  • Beluga Caviar - The most prized caviar on earth. Obtained from huso huso sturgeons, they’re grayish, large beads with a lovely, buttery texture.


  • Osetra Caviar - Close to Beluga caviar, the medium-sized beads can have a golden or brown color and have a characteristic nutty profile.


  • Sevruga Caviar- Sevruga caviar is obtained from a fast-growing fish, and the eggs are smaller. Often gray or black, they have a classic popping sound when consumed, they’re cheaper than Beluga and Osetra but have a lively personality.


  • Salmon Roe - The bright color in the medium-sized salmon roe is delightful for the eyes and palate. Often used in sushi, salmon roe plays a part in many starters and appetizers.


  • Capelin Roe - You might know this fish roe as masago since it’s an integral part of sushi menus across the world. Tiny but intensely colored, masago is both fresh and flavorful.


  • Vendace Roe - Last but not least, vendace roe is considered the northern caviar, and as explained before, it comes from small freshwater fish. You can enjoy this roe on its own, it can top a wide variety of dishes, and it’s even used in soups.

Recipe: Salted New Potatoes, Baked Onions, Dill and Vinaigrette of Cream

Try this warm potato ensemble inspired in the famous Björn Franzten dish. He tops it with Vendace row, but you can enjoy them with any other topping.


Salt roasted potatoes

New potatoes, washed

400 gm Water to cover

Salt 50 ml Olive oil 2 tbsp


Baked pearl onions 

Pearl onions 4 pcs

Canola oil 2 tsp


Cream vinaigrette

Cream 125 ml Creme Fraiche

 1 tbsp Salt

 1 tsp Lemon juice

 1 tbsp Black pepper to taste

 olive oil 1 tbsp


For the Salt Roasted Potatoes 


Bring water, salt and the potatoes to a simmer in a saucepan. 

Continue cooking until almost all the water has evaporated. Stir occasionally.

Transfer the potatoes onto a baking tray and toss with the olive oil.

Bake in the oven on 200°c for 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Cooldown slightly and cut in half before plating.


For the Baked pearl onions

Split the onions in half longitudinally and place

cut-side down on a baking tray.

Torch the skin and place in the oven at 200°c for

10 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let cool down before separating the laminas. 


For the Cream vinaigrette  

Bring the cream to a boil. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the Creme Fraiche. 

Season with salt, lemon juice, and the freshly cracked black pepper. 

Just before serving, add the olive oil and stir gently.


Place the potato halves sporadically over the plate. 

Distribute some laminas of pearl onion over and around the potatoes. 

Drizzle the vinaigrette all over the dish.