It’s here! Wild shad is only here for a short time so jump on this much-loved early springtime delicacy. Shad is mild and buttery and available whole or as boned fillets, while the prized shad roe has a sweet, rich flavor - no wonder it’s called the foie gras of the sea!
But what is shad, what does shad taste like and what is the best way to cook shad? We have all your shad questions answered, so you can enjoy this delicious treat while it's in season.
What is Shad?
Shad is a large East Coast fish that spend most of their life in the Atlantic Ocean, but swim up freshwater rivers to spawn.
Shad has been described as "the fish that fed the nation's founders" and was reportedly George Washington’s favorite fish. Thomas Jefferson would look forward to it every spring, as did Native Americans for thousands of years beforehand.
The name shad comes from the Old English word for herring (sceadd), while its Latin name, alosa sapidissima, translates to “most delicious.” We agree!
Is Shad Healthy?
Shad is very high in omega 3 fatty acids, and contain nearly twice as much per unit weight as wild salmon.
When is Shad Season?
Shad season is short, starting in mid-February through May or June. We like to think of shad season as the harbinger of spring, so when shad arrives at the Fulton Fish Market, we can look forward to warmer days ahead.
What Does Shad Taste Like?
Shad fillets are sweet, white and flaky, with a richness that reminds us of herring or bluefish. Shad fillets are also extremely boney, which Is why we bone them for you.
Shad lovers seek out the shad roe, which is a plump, red sac filled with tiny roe. Shad roe is delicate to cook but worth it for the luxurious taste - akin to herring and foie gras. There's nothing else like it, so if you're intrigued, buy shad roe online from Fulton for the freshest shad on the market.
How To Cook Shad Roe and Shad Fish
Shad is a rich, flavorful fish, so less is definitely more. Try our delicious shad dishes including shad roe recipes with crispy bacon, and our fried shad sandwich:
While shad fillets are very bony, we’ve done the hard work and deboned the shad fillets for you, so all you have to do is choose your favorite way of cooking shad. Try them crumbed in seasoned breadcrumbs and baked for an easy seafood dinner.
This classic shad roe recipe, pairing delicate roe with crispy, crumbled bacon, is a favorite with shad lovers. Serve with new season baby potatoes and asparagus for a celebration of spring on your plate.
We love a crispy fish sandwich, and now that shad is in season, we couldn’t help but take sweet, flaky shad fillets, batter and fry them and see how they would work in a sammie. Turns out, fried shad sandwiches are fried-and-true delicious!
There’s no better way to celebrate this spectacular fish than with a decadent dinner. We poach luxurious shad roe in butter, then gild the lily by finishing it with a silky, spinach cream sauce. A real treat for shad lovers new and old.