Mentaiko pasta is one of my favourite pasta dishes. This Japanese-style pasta is my go-to menu when I have people over for a quick meal. It is simple and flavourful. You will find many different variations of this dish. Similar to many pasta dishes, the recipe for this menu is quite flexible so you can adjust the quantity of each ingredients based on your taste preference.
Here are the ingredients I use (for two servings):
- 200 grams dried pasta – I normally use spaghetti or spaghettini
- chopped green onion, sesame seed and seaweed for garnish
and for the sauce:
- 1 sac of mentaiko (spicy cod roe) – you can find this in most Japanese and Korean supermarkets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon cooking sake
- 1 tablespoon dashi
- 1 tablespoon cream (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon japanese mayonnaise (optional)
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flake – I normally use Thai dried chili flakes for that extra kick
- salt and pepper to taste
Scrape the roe and discard the mentaiko membrane. Save a small portion of the roe for garnish and mix the rest with all other ingredients above. If you like creamy consistency you can add the cream and mayonnaise. Otherwise if you are in the mood for something lighter you can skip those. Don’t worry if you find the sauce slightly salty – it will be balanced once mixed with pasta later.
Cook your pasta based on the package direction. I prefer mine al dente. Once done, turn off the stove, drain the water and put the pasta back in the pot. Quickly stir the sauce with the pasta while it’s still hot. Serve and garnish with mentaiko, chopped green onion, sesame seed and seaweed. If you like spicy, you can add extra chili flakes at this point as well.
For a change you can use udon (or other types of noodles of your choice) instead of pasta. You can also add other meats or vegetables to the dish as well. For me, I like to add squid to my mentaiko dishes. I think it compliments the mentaiko flavour quite nicely :).