View Full Version : Preparing Shad, Recipes (for roe and all)

04-26-2007, 07:20 PM
Preparing Your Catch

Some anglers seem intimidated by the prospect of cleaning shad, which is a bony fish. Although you may not do it well the first time, do not be discouraged if the fish looks a bit ragged when you are done. It will taste just as good.

The photos and descriptions here are not a complete guide to filleting, but should help you get started.

Also bear in mind that there are ways of enjoying shad on your dinner table that do not require traditional filleting first. See the recipes later in this booklet for ideas. *Step 1:
First, place the fish on a board. Have a good, sharp fillet knife.
Step 2:
Holding the fish firmly, remove scales by scraping from the head toward the tail. Shad have sharp scales on the belly, so take care not to cut yourself. If you are going to cook the fish whole, such as baking, it is not necessary to scale it.
Next, cut off the head and tail, take the innards out, and cut out the fins, bones and all.

The shad is now ready for baking. For other methods of preparation, proceed with the filleting process.
Step 3:

For filleting, the next step is to cut off the lower belly wall (the piece shown in the bottom of the photo).
Step 4:
Split the shad open and take out the backbone.
Step 5:
If boneless shad strips are desired, the next thing to do is cut away the ribs.
Step 6:
You can now feel for the rows of bones in the flesh and carefully cut the meat away from the bones and skin. Shown far right in the photo is your final shad fillet strip.


Long ago, shad became the delight of gourmets because of the tastiness of shad roe, prepared in a variety of dishes. Perhaps the focus on the roe and the boniness of shad has caused cooks to overlook the good possibilities of shad meat recipes. A varied sampling of recipes is offered here--both for shad meat and roe.

And, don't forget -- Shad can also be smoked, canned (plain or smoked) and pickled.

Slow-baked shad

This recipe softens the bones (as in canned salmon), making it an easy-to-prepare, as well as delicious, dish.

1 shad (3-5 lbs)
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper * 2 Tbsp. melted butter, OR 2 bacon strips
1 can canned soup (tomato, mushroom, etc.) *

Clean shad and split open. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Brush with melted butter or place the bacon strips over the fish. Pour soup over the fish. Take heavy-duty aluminum foil or several layers of regular foil and wrap the shad. Fold over twice on top, then ends, so the fish is tightly sealed. Bake slowly at 275o F for 5 hours.

Crusty baked shad

If you like your fish a nice, crusty brown, with the bones softened, try this:

Clean the fish as previously described in Steps 1 and 2, but leave the head and tail on. They can be discarded once the fish is cooked. They are left on because they help hold in the stuffing used in this recipe.
Take a brown paper bag (not foil) and grease it well, inside and out, with vegetable oil or shortening. Season the fish lightly with salt on the outside. To make the stuffing, chop an onion and a few stalks of celery and season the combination with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Place stuffing in shad cavity and secure the opening with small cooking skewers.
Carefully place the fish inside the brown bag and secure bag with pins or staples. Put the bag on a cookie sheet. Bake in a very slow oven (225o F) for 5 hours. The slow cooking softens the bones so that they are edible, and the shad is a nice, crusty brown.
Fried shad

Adopting some of the ideas of good southern cooks, here is a method of frying shad that makes a savory dish.
Shad fillets
1 or 2 cups flour
pepper (to taste)
2 eggs * 2 Tbsp. water
2 or 3 cups cornmeal or dried bread crumbs
Shortening, bacon drippings or vegetable spray *

Put the flour and cornmeal (or bread crumbs) in separate pie pans or in wide bowls. First, roll fillets in flour to coat. Next, beat eggs, water, and desired amount of pepper until well-blended and dip the floured fillets into the egg mixture. Quickly lay dampened fillets in cornmeal or bread crumbs and turn them over to coat both sides well. Allow fillets to air dry for about five minutes, to set the coating. This method seals the meat and keeps it moist. Fry fillets in melted shortening, drippings or sprayed pan.
Broiled shad

A simple marinade and oven broiling produce another tasty shad entrée.

1 shad (3-4 lbs)
1 lemon
1 cup wine of your choice *4-6 bacon strips
salt (to taste)

Clean and split the shad and place the two halves skin side down in a shallow glass baking dish. Squeeze juice from the lemon and add wine. Lightly salt the fish, then brush the lemon juice/wine mixture onto the meat. Place 2-3 bacon strips lengthwise on each side of fish. Slowly pour the remaining wine mixture over the fish and allow it to marinate for at least 1 hour. Place dish about 2 inches below oven broiler for about 15 minutes, but check meat at 10 minutes for doneness. Do not turn fish.

Shad roe
The roe (eggs) from shad is considered choice, on the same culinary plane as caviar, although used somewhat differently. In addition to being used for hors d'oeuvres and garnishes, shad roe can be sautéed, baked in sauce, broiled and fried.

Basic preparation

Before parboiling shad roe to prepare it for recipe use, prick the membrane containing the eggs with a needle to prevent the sac from bursting and splattering the tiny eggs. Always cook shad roe gently, with very low heat, to avoid overcooking and ending up with roe that is dry and tasteless.


Shad roe
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, or
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
Place pricked membrane(s) in saucepan and cover with boiling water plus lemon juice or wine. Simmer from 3 to 12 minutes, depending on size. Drain and cool. Remove the membrane for baking; membrane can be left for sautéing and frying. Add salt if desired. The roe is now ready for recipe use.

Sautéed roe

Parboiled roe, still in the membrane, can be sautéed in a few tablespoons of butter, with the addition of seasonings of your choice (chopped chives, parsley, minced shallots, tarragon, basil, etc.). It can also be dipped in beaten egg, rolled in flour or cornmeal, and pan fried in shortening or bacon drippings.

Baked roe

Place parboiled roe, with membrane removed, in a buttered dish and cover with sauce of your choice (creole, mushroom, etc.). Bake in 375o F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir every five minutes.

Enjoy *;)

P.S. I found this, so i cant claim it as my own

-Trout Terminator

05-19-2007, 07:57 PM
I wasn't paying attention I guess. Didn't see this post , thanks T-T good post.

05-20-2007, 12:05 PM
I just ate my first shad roe ever. It's pretty dam good. I parboiled it then sliced, dipped, flour, spice and fried it like the recipe above says. I tried a few pieces plain. Then dipped a few in wasabi sauce. With a bunch more to eat latter. I got six nice scanes in the smoker raw, with some fillets. I haven't tried yet. But I will defiantly keep the roe when I keep shad from know on. It's good sh!+ :) Thanks for the help!

06-10-2007, 12:26 AM
no problem man, anytime ;)