Viennese Caviar Goes Vegan

Project by Anastasia Eggers and Ottonie von Roeder

Viennese Caviar goes Vegan is a new take on a luxurious dish that is known for economization of nature. Within a tour combined with a workshop we will harvest ingredients that have positive implications on the environment in the urban space and produce vegan caviar together with the participants, experimenting with how the value of a historically imported product can be reinterpreted through local production processes.

Conventional caviar production leads to the extinction of fish species and the anthropocene defaunation. The pollution of natural living spaces of animals and plants is another consequence of mass food production. Viennese Caviar goes Vegan triggers a discussion on our consumerist culture, the challenges of climate change and mass extinction and the human-animal relationship while opening up knowledge exchange and new opportunities.

Danube was not only known as a transport path for caviar coming from Russia in the past, but also a place where caviar production was attempted in the 19th century. Viennese Caviar goes Vegan picks up the role of Danube in caviar production, turning it into the source of the base ingredient.

︎Vegan Caviar recipe ︎

Make sure to have the following tools:
  • 2 pots
  • a blender
  • a fine meshed sieve
  • a sieve with bigger holes
  • pipettes or a caviar maker
  • a measuring cup
  • a bowl,
  • a whisk
  • some basic kitchen tools

You will need the following ingredients:
  • 15 dried edible underwater plants (like Myriophyllum Spicatum harvested in May or June)
  • or 10g Nori
  • ¼ tablespoon of salt
  • 200ml water
  • 8 drops of (apple cider) vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of Agar Agar powder
  • (rapeseed) oil (cooled for at least two hours in the fridge)

Separate the leaves from the stalk in case you are using dried Myriophyllum Spicatum.
Bring the water to boil together with the underwater plants.
Let it boil for one minute, then take it from the stove to let it soak with the lid on.
Remove the stalks, after the liquid has cooled down.
Puree the liquid and pour it through the fine-meshed sieve.
Add salt and vinegar.
Divide the liquid into two equal parts in two pots.
Add half of the Agar Agar powder to one pot, bring the liquid to boil once while whisking it (check what it says on the Agar Agar packaging) and take it off the stove.
In the meantime fill the cooled oil into a bowl.
Fill the pipette with the warm liquid and drop it the liquid from approximately 1cm height into the cooled oil. Hurry up, as the liquid jellifies when it cools down.
When you finished up the jellifying liquid, you can do the same with the other half of the liquid that you put aside earlier.
Then take the caviar pearls out of the oil and remove the film of oil with warm water.

Enjoy your homemade vegan caviar!

The recipe is based on vegan caviar recipes found online and was adapted to the requirements of the Viennese Caviar goes Vegan project.

Photos by Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou // © Urbanthinktank_next (Hubert Klumpner and Michael Walczak) and Eggers/Roeder

Collage: Stadt Wien – Wiener Gewässer, Direktor Prof. Dr. Thom's Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz, Peter Gugerell, Bombs Specialty Foods, Mad Mot Smith (flickr), Giorgio Minguzzi (flickr), Bicanski (pixinio), Hippopx, life.inphotos (flickr), Mikael Korhonen (flickr), Andy Wright (flickr), ZBeeb.

Tuesday Oct 5 2021