Skip to Content

Shrimp With Eggs Attached: What Is Shrimp Roe And Can You Eat It?

Shrimp With Eggs Attached: What Is Shrimp Roe And Can You Eat It?

If you’ve never seen or heard of shrimp roe before, it can catch you a little off guard. Shrimp with eggs attached can simply look off to anyone who’s unfamiliar with it.

The good news is that these eggs, also known as roe, are completely edible and actually preferred by many people across the world. They can be a versatile addition to a dish, similar to the versatility shrimp provide.

I personally like them on some sushi rolls, as they can add a little bit more flavor without taking away from the core ingredient(s) used for the roll.

We cover the following items in this post:

What Do You Call Shrimp Eggs?

A bowl of shrimp roe. Shrimp with eggs attached

Shrimp eggs are called “roe.” Roe is the term used for the eggs of both fish and other sea animals like shrimp and squid.

Shrimp roe is the orange part of the shrimp, the fully hardened and ripe fish eggs. It’s similar to caviar, although not technically considered caviar, and is considered a delicacy in many different cultures and cuisines.

Can You Eat Shrimp Eggs?

Yes, you can.

As a seafood, roe is utilized not only as a cooked element in numerous cuisines but also used as a raw ingredient in luxuries like caviar.

You can eat them raw, cook them alongside the shrimp, or discard the eggs when peeling the shrimp. It’s all based on preference.

The taste of shrimp roe is slightly salty and slightly sweet. The taste of shrimp is also a bit salty and sweet, and the texture of shrimp roe is nicely paired with the somewhat firm and chewy texture of shrimp.

Shrimp eggs are high in omega-3 acid fats, docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, and vitamin B-12.

  • Omega-3 acids play an essential role in precise cognitive function and development along with cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of inflammation throughout the body.
  • Vitamin B-12 helps the body convert energy from food.

What Does Shrimp Roe Look Like?

Shrimp sushi with roe on top. Shrimp with eggs attached

Shrimp roe often has a vibrant orange color, and it’s shaped like small jelly-like balls.

In pregnancy, the eggs in the shrimp’s abdomen will be visible due to their transparent exterior. While pregnant, the roe can look orange, green, yellow, black, or sometimes even a bit pink.

You’ve likely seen them commonly served on some sushi dishes, in which the small orange eggs are served on top of various sushi rolls.

What Does a Pregnant Shrimp Look Like?

A pregnant shrimp. Shrimp with eggs attached

It is simple to determine whether or not a shrimp is harboring eggs. Just like in humans, a female shrimp will expand its body to hold the eggs in the abdomen region.

Due to the translucent nature of shrimp, you’ll be able to see the eggs form in the pregnant mama shrimp’s abdomen region.

How Do You Remove Roe From Shrimp?

It’s not difficult to remove roe from shrimp. You can choose to use a small utensil, or you can elect to use your fingers.

Thoughtfully and carefully remove the roe from the shrimp, even with the shell still intact.

The roe will likely bundle together, in which the eggs come out in bulk, stuck to each other. Some eggs will fall off, so it’s best to perform this over a towel or bowl to catch anything that falls as well as leakage.

Final Thoughts: Can You Eat Shrimp With Eggs Attached?

You can safely eat shrimp eggs, as long as they’re been safely treated and preserved correctly.

The flavor is slightly sweet and slightly salty. Shrimp roe noodles and shrimp roe sushi are two popular ways to eat shrimp eggs. You can also make shrimp roe kimbap, steamed shrimp roe, or you can sauté the roe in any way you desire.

Pro-tip: Keep chili oil and soy sauce on hand at all times because that will elevate the roe’s flavor.


Can You Eat Shrimp Caviar?

Yes, you can. However, shrimp eggs, or roe, aren’t technically considered caviar.

Eggs, or roe, and caviar are both fish eggs. However, caviar is more specific to the Chordata phylum of the animal kingdom, while shrimp are in the Arthropoda phylum. As such, shrimp eggs, although perfectly fine to eat, are not truly considered caviar.

How Do Shrimp Get Pregnant?

Female shrimps carry eggs under their bodies when they’re ready to reproduce. These female shrimp are called “berried shrimp.”

When the female shrimp is prepared to procreate, it will release hormones into the water. Male shrimp will locate the female which released these sexual hormones, deposit their sperm, and the female will pass the eggs underneath her body.

The female will then use her tail to fan the eggs up until they hatch.

How Long Do Shrimp Hold Their Eggs?

For roughly 30 days on average. This can depend on the shrimp, and it can range anywhere from two weeks to 35 days.

Do Shrimps Have Balls?

Yes, male shrimp have testes.