Recipe: Mentaiko Spaghetti

Today I thought I’d share with you a recipe for mentaiko spaghetti, inspired by my trip to Tabibito this summer and adapted from this recipe. It’s the perfect winter warmer- creamy, decadent and a little bit spicy. I hope you’ll try it out if you have the chance!

P.S: Merry Christmas-hope you all have a happy, relaxing and food-filled day of festivities! 

DSC_0888In case you’re wondering, mentaiko is marinated cod (or pollock) roe. It’s a common ingredient used in Japanese dishes. In this recipe we’ll be using spicy mentaiko, which isn’t actually that spicy at all but gives a nice little kick of flavour to the dish.


Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 200 g spaghetti
  • 2-3 mentaiko sacs (available from Asian supermarkets. If unfortunately there isn’t fresh mentaiko for sale where you live, you can perhaps buy a pre-made sauce online here)
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise (my favourite is the Kewpie brand)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • nori sheets (for garnishing)
  • soy sauce
  • 1/2 lemon


1. Boil your pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Remember to salt the water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the mentaiko mixture. Using a pair of scissors, slit the mentaiko sac membrane open and scrape the roe out using a spoon. This can get a little messy so be sure to have a bowl nearby!

3. Combine the roe, mayonnaise, butter and mirin in a large bowl. Add a splash of soy sauce and the juice of half a lemon.

DSC_08844. Cut your nori into thin strips- this will be used for garnishing the dish.

5. Once the pasta is ready, strain it – but leave a little bit of the pasta water in the pot- you can use this to water down the mixture later if so required.

DSC_08826. Quickly add the hot pasta to the roe mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the pasta into the roe. Stir evenly until the butter has completely melted and add pasta water if needed.

DSC_08857. Plate up the pasta, garnish with nori strips and serve immediately. Enjoy!




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