When I am in the mood to treat myself, I will add mentaiko (marinated pollock roe; see photo on page 2) 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 Meitakiyaki. 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 orange hue.
I love to order this dish at Japanese restaurants, but they are pricier than home-cooked and usually not too generous 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. If you love scallops served in half-shells, check out the following recipes: Chinese-style Steamed Scallops with Vermicelli & Baked Scallops with Cheese.
Scraping out the roe from a mentaiko sac (step 2).
A delightfully beautiful and delicious Japanese baked scallops with mentaiko sauce.
Serves:2 (as a side-dish)
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
5 half-shelled scallops if using frozen, thaw before use
60 grams mentaiko sacs aka pollock roe (明太子 )
1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
40 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
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.
Noob Cook Tips
You can use either spicy mentaiko (karashi mentaiko/(辛子明太子) (my preferred type; used in this recipe) or non-spicy version for this recipe.
There is a no-colouring type of mentaiko, so if you prefer the orange hue which is recommended for this recipe, make sure to buy the right type.
You can purchase mentaiko from the supermarket located at Isetan Scotts, Singapore.