When I am in the mood for a treat, I will add mentaiko or marinated pollock roe to my shopping basket. Besides making a quick & super-indulgent mentaiko pasta with it, my other favourite use is to bake half-shelled scallops in mentaiko sauce, aka Hotate Meitaiyaki.
If serving scallops in half shells is beautiful, there must be a word beyond beautiful for scallops baked with mentaiko sauce – I simply adore the pastel orange hue when baked. I love to order this dish at Japanese restaurants, but they are often pricey and stingy with the fish roe. So I am really happy that I can make this at home easily – only taking about 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake in the oven.
Using colorless mentaiko (明太子) will result in a pale appearance while using the coloured type will result in a pastel orange sauce. Be sure to buy the right type of mentaiko accordingly to your preference.
Serves:2 (as a side-dish)
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
5 half-shelled scallops if using frozen, thaw before use
a few stalks hon-shimeji mushrooms ends trimmed; optional
Remove scallop meat from the shell, rinse the meat thoroughly and remove any dirty bits. Scald the scallop shells in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes to disinfect, discard hot water and rinse the shells. Return scallop meat to the shell.
Make a slit on the mentaiko sac and scrap out the roe with a spoon or the back of a small knife. Discard the membrane. Combine mentaiko roe with mayonnaise in a small bowl; stir to combine.
Place scallops on a foil-lined oven tray. Bake scallops in pre-heated oven of 200°C (392°F) for 5 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully drain the scallop broth collected in the shells in a small bowl. You may use the broth for flavouring other dishes.
Divide and scatter a layer of cheese on top of each scallops, followed by the mentaiko mixture. Garnish each scallop with 1 to 2 stalks of hon-shimeji mushrooms.
Return scallops to oven and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly browned.