What's the proper way to say "1 unit of caviar"? Caviar is an uncountable noun even though technically it's countable unlike water, so because of that I am not sure if you can refer to "1 unit of caviar" idiomatically. Is it the case? I thought about "1 egg of caviar", "1 unit of caviar", but they sound really weird and unidiomatic. How would you say it?

For example:

He took 1 unit of caviar and put it on top of a rice ball just to show him he was a frugal chef.

  • by "1 unit" do you want to mean exactly 1 egg? or just a small amount of caviar?
    – katatahito
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 1:21
  • 1
    I mean exactly 1 egg
    – Sayaman
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 1:22

2 Answers 2


Reading this caviar website it seems that beads or pearls would be an appropriate way to refer to a caviar egg.

He took one caviar pearl and put it on top of a rice ball just to show him he was a frugal chef.


Caviar comes in tin cans, so we usually say one tin or one can of caviar, just like we say one can of tuna.

If you use ctrl+F on this page, you'll see people using both tin and can.

If you are looking for the word for individual eggs, the most conversational thing to say would be just that: one caviar egg.

Another answer cites the word pearl found on a culinary blog. This sounds like restaurantese to me: the writer chose a beautiful, spherical, and nautical object to highlight caviar's luxurious image. Ditto for bead. I would choose one of these words if you are writing with the intent of making the caviar sound delicious, e.g. promotional copy or a restaurant menu.

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