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Homehealth and livingIs Masago a Caviar?

Is Masago a Caviar?

Is masago a caviar?

Masago is a type of fish roe.Masago is a type of fish roe.

Masago and caviar are both fish roe (fish eggs) from different species of fish. Only the roe from sturgeon fish is called “true caviar.” So, technically, masago is not caviar. Both masago and caviar are used as a garnish and not as the main ingredient. However, there are differences between these two types of fish eggs.

Table 1. The Differences Between Masago and Caviar

DifferencesMasagoCaviarType of fishCapelinWild sturgeon fishColorBright reddish-orangeRanges from amber or green to deep blackTaste 

Salty, smoky and slightly bitter

SaltyCostLess expensiveHighly expensiveSize Very small Size of a peaTexture Less vibrantGlossyNutritional components


Fatty acids



Vitamin B-12



Omega-3 fatty acids

Amino acids

  • Glutamic acid
  • Lysine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Lysine
  • Leucine

What is masago?

Masago is a type of fish roe or fish eggs used mainly in sushi preparation. It is often prepared from the roe of the capelin fish found primarily in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Capelin belongs to the family of small fish that are a meal for larger fish, thus making it a significant part of the food chain. Masago is highly nutritious and makes a great accompaniment with rice. Masago is commonly used in Japanese dishes and sushi rolls. Overfishing of these fish has been banned because it may cause disturbances in the food chain or ecological system.

What is caviar?

Similar to masago, caviar is also fish roe prepared from the roe of the wild sturgeon fish. It is one of the most luxurious foods that originated from Russia and the Persian empire. There are different types of sturgeon caviar, which include

  • Beluga
  • Kaluga
  • Osetra
  • Sevruga
  • Sterlet
  • Siberian sturgeon
  • White sturgeon
  • Hackleback
  • Paddlefish

The omega-3 fatty acids in caviar are anti-inflammatory and they are also beneficial for the function of the brain, heart and eyes.

What are the health benefits of fish roe?

Fish roe is very nutritious.

Table 2. The Nutritional Components of Fish Roe

NutrientAmountDietary valueCarbohydrate1.50 g1%Protein22.32 g


Fat6.42 g8%Saturated fatty acids1.456 g7%Folate80.00 mcgVitamin B1210.00 mcg417%Vitamin B60.160 mg12%Vitamin C16.0 mg18%Vitamin D12.10 mcg60%Vitamin K0.2 mcg0%Calcium, Ca22.00 mg2%Copper, Cu0.100 mg11%Iron, Fe0.60 mg3%Magnesium, Mg20.00 mg5%Manganese, Mn0.010 mg0%Phosphorous, P402.00 mg57%Potassium, K221.00 mg5%Selenium, Se

40.3 mcg

73%Sodium, Na91.00 mg4%Zinc, Zn1.00 mg9%Cholesterol 374.00 mg125%

The health benefits of eating such a nutritious food includes

  • Confers protects against heart disease
  • No weight gain due to its low caloric content
  • Boosts energy 
  • Boosts nerve health
  • Aids in the proper functioning of the eyes, brain and heart
  • Reduces oxidative stress and boosts the immune system
  • Helps in weight loss because it is high in protein
  • Provides all the essential amino acids necessary for good health

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