Mentaiko (or Tarako) spaghetti is one of the most popular Japanese-style pasta dishes. Mentaiko is spiced and salted roe of pollock and cod. Tarako is only salted, without spice. There are very popular pasta ingredients in Japan.
There are few different versions of Mentaiko or Tarako spaghetti. The creamy version is also delicious, but my favorite is oil based which I will introduce here.
It should not be too hard to find the ingredients as you can get the spiced and salted pollock/cod roe at your local Japanese or Korean supermarkets. If you are a fan of squid, it is also recommended to add cooked and sliced squid tubes to this dish.
Shiso leaves may be challenging to find at your neighborhood stores but you can always use “nori” (seaweed) as a substitute garnish.
Mentaiko or Tarako spaghetti might be interesting flavor when it’s your first time. But It may become your favorite pasta dish. So please give it a try!
Mentaiko or Tarako Spaghetti
(serves 3 to 4)
· 1 package (1lbs) of spaghetti
· 2 to 3 Mentaiko or Tarako pieces (depends on how big it is)
· 2 tablespoons of good quality oil
· 5 to 6 Shiso leaves, julienned
· nori (seaweed)
1. Cook spaghetti “al dente” in salted water (follow the instructions on the box).
2. While the spaghetti is cooking, remove the inside of Pollock/cod roe from the skin. (This is Mentaiko)
3. In a bowl, mix the removed roe eggs and oil well.
4. Add cooked spaghetti into the bowl and mix well.
5. Garnish with Shiso leaves or nori to serve.