Feeling “pop!” of salty, small balls in mouth is always delight
Especially with accompaniment of noodle
Mixes best with the creamy sauce to make milder flavour
Let’s enjoying mentaiko with each other!
The Japanese often combine mentaiko (spiced Haddock roe) with Japanese mayonnaise, butter, or cream to subdue the strong flavour of the spiced haddock roe. Because of its strong flavour, a little goes a long way to spice up carbs like white rice, bread, and the below pasta recipe, one of the most popular wa-fu (Japanese style) pasta sauces.
Mentaiko, outside of Japan will likely be in the freezer section of select Japanese or Asian food marts (available in Vancouver at the downtown Korean supermarket H-Mart on Robson at Seymour). Definitely not appealing at first glance – the row come in the original egg sac, taken straight from the fish – this treat is worth closing your eyes and taking the leap of faith. Salty, crunchy and spicy to the tongue, mentaiko pays you back (and then some) for your courage.
Give it a try – I think you’ll say wahoo! too.
Ingredients for Wahoo! Mentaiko Pasta
- Enough dried spaghetti for 4
- One egg-sac of mentaiko
- About 1/3 cup jako (baby sardines) – optional
- Approx. 1- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- Approx. 3 – 4 Tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- Approx. 2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil – butter will give a milder flavour to the dish)
- Garnish: thinly sliced shiso herb and/or dried nori seaweed
How to make Wahoo! Mentaiko Pasta
- Defrost the mentaiko overnight in the fridge. Once fully defrosted…
- 2. Boil the spaghetti in plenty of water. Just before the spaghetti is ready, pre-heat a large frying pan to medium heat. Once cooked al-dente, drain the spaghetti and set aside.
- Once the frying pan is hot, add the butter or oil, mentaiko, and briefly sauté until the butter is fully melted (about 20 – 30 seconds).
- Add the spaghetti and toss with soy sauce and mayonnaise, adjusting the amounts of each to your taste. This should only take about one minute.
- Serve while hot with the garnish(es) of your choice.
Let’s Forking with spicy roe!