Asawa's Recipes, Food

Mentaiko (Tarako) Spaghetti (明太子スパゲッティ)

Mentaiko is the official “omiyage” from Fukuoka.  It is a marinated roe of pollock which is usually a topping for rice.  Fukuoka is known for having the best mentaiko in Japan which explains why it is such a popular omiyage.  Here I tried to make something different by using mentaiko as a sauce for pasta. I hope you like my little creation.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 50g Mentaiko
  • 200g Spaghetti (1.6mm spaghetti is recommended)
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 dry chili
  • 5 big spoons (75ml) of olive oil
  • 3 sheets of Nori (dry seaweed for sushi)

1. Remove skin of Mentaiko.

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2. Cut nori using scissors.

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3. Boil spaghetti. 1 min shorter than instructed. (In the case of 1.6 mm, 8 min)

4. Stir garlic and chili with 3 big spoon of olive oil until garlic turns brown, right before spaghetti is ready. Remove the chili.

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5. Turn off flame and add spaghetti and Mentaiko in the pan. Mix in afterheat. (It is dangerous to heat Mentaiko. It spatters!)

* Usually, Mentako only gives enough salt but if you prefer more salty taste, you can add some soy sauce when you mix.

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6. Add 2 big spoons of olive oil right before it is served.

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7. Serve hot and add Nori right before eating!

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8 Comments on “Mentaiko (Tarako) Spaghetti (明太子スパゲッティ)

  1. Pingback: Japundit
  2. Bonjour !

    Well I have experienced things with mentaiko also…

    Cooked mentaiko is not (less) good (it turn hard, opaque and is much much less tasty), no "juice"

    So to get you recipe better (if I may…) I would recommand you to "dilute" (liquify) you Mentaiko like a water paste adding, like you do oil, or a little water (with dashi or any stok to your liking), and adding these a little warm. at the final to your cooked pasta.

    This will avoid you to "cook" and "waste" the mentaiko.

    I have another recipe for you to try,(if I may also), it is to use… the "big, large" udon and for the sauce, use Mentaiko (of course) and the cream.(a little)(not the liquid one,but the thick one)

    Just enough to have some cream all around the pasta, but not enough to make a "sauce" ( or not… 😉

    Warm the cream very little like 30-40 C. and dilute the mentaiko in it. Stir well

    Some eggs will broke and free some flavor into the cream sauce.

    The cream will turn a little red.

    Then add this to the udon "pasta".

    No spice, no garlic nothin (Pasta ,cream, mentaiko(Better than takako for this)

    Nori stripes eventually for decoration (toping)

    Voila. (sorry couldn't help myself 😉

    Of course udon or regular pasta (italian) Both are good. But Udon, you can surprise your Japanese friend (in a good way).

    Writing this opened my appetite… i know what we're having for diner now… :))

    I didn't know Fukuoka was special area for mentaiko… i have to go there next time 🙂

    1. Hi Oliver,
      Just read your comment now. Somehow I was not notified 107 weeks ago. Wow, that long. Thanks for the very detailed comment. We certainly learned some from it. Will try out the recipe you suggested! Will try to blog about the results!

  3. Thanks for aany other excellent post. The place else could anyone get that type of

    info in such a perfect way of writing? Ihave

    a presentation next week, and I’m on the search foor such information.

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