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Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko Pasta Recipe

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First posted in 2011, updated in Mar 2015.

Mentaiko is marinated pollock roe and a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Using it to make mentaiko pasta (明太子パスタ) is my favourite way to enjoy this ingredient. This Italian-Japanese pasta is usually quite expensive on the menu, but easily less than half the price and more than double the roe, to make at home.

See Also:
Mentaiko Pasta Sauce Recipe

Mentaiko pasta sauce – no cooking required!

As gourmet as this pasta may sound and look, it is actual the simplest pasta recipe out there! The sauce does not require stove-top cooking and took me 5 minutes. The only real cooking I did was to cook the pasta (spaghetti).

Mentaiko Pasta Sauce Recipe

5-minute mentaiko pasta sauce – Just whisk to combine, and they are good to use!

To make the 5-minute sauce, I basically melted butter in the microwave, then whisked in the other ingredients in a small bowl.

Karashi Mentaiko (辛子明太子)

There are two main types of spicy ‘karashi’ mentaiko (辛子明太子) you can find at the local Japanese supermarkets. The colourless type will result in a colourless pasta with visible bits of roe in it. On the other hand, the coloured type (featured in this recipe; pictured above), will result in a slight salmon pink pasta sauce.  Click here to read more information about mentaiko.

Leave a Comment

48 Responses to “Mentaiko Pasta”

  1. ju — April 21, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    Does mentaiko have a fishy taste? Is it already cooked or we eat it raw? Tks.


    • wiffy replied: — April 22nd, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

      I will call it umami rather than fishy. On its own, I believe it’s raw and can also be eaten in the raw form.


  2. dimshum — August 17, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

    made this today for dinner, with a few adjustments- it was very delicious! I will probably post it on my blog and link back to this website- hope thats okay! :)


    • wiffy replied: — August 17th, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

      Sure, you can, thank you! You have a really nice blog :)


  3. tigerfish — March 17, 2015 @ 7:30 am

    Never tried mentaiko before so everything is new and interesting to me :)


    • wiffy replied: — March 20th, 2015 @ 10:23 am

      I think you will like it, since we have very similar taste buds :)


  4. Ivy — June 11, 2015 @ 5:57 pm

    Hi its delicious! Great recipe. May I know if the sauce can be place in the fridge for next day? or how long can it be preserve?


    • wiffy replied: — June 15th, 2015 @ 9:23 am

      I don’t think it will spoil the next day in fridge. But personally, since mentaiko is seafood, and this sauce is so easy to make, I prefer to make it on the day for freshness :)


  5. Weiling — July 22, 2015 @ 8:05 pm

    Hi would like to ask where to get this and how much it cost?


    • wiffy replied: — July 23rd, 2015 @ 11:00 am

      Hi, check out this post to read where to get. For the one from Isetan (first pic), I think I paid 10+ (can’t remember exact amount).


  6. Grace — July 3, 2016 @ 7:52 pm

    Can I replace the mentaiko with tobiko?



    • wiffy replied: — July 4th, 2016 @ 9:56 am

      yes, you can.


      • Grace replied: — July 5th, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

        I have another question

      • Grace replied: — July 5th, 2016 @ 4:38 pm

        I have another question, i hope you don’t mind… How do I remove the umami taste? Because my kids didn’t like it because of the “fishy” taste (or smell?)
        Thanks again

        • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2016 @ 12:27 pm

          I personally do not find mentaiko “fishy”. Maybe your kids just don’t like fish roe. Cook something else for them ;)

  7. Rian — September 13, 2016 @ 9:01 pm

    May i know what are ingredients you used to make mentai sauce?



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