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Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko Pasta Recipe

Mentaiko Pasta

Using colorless mentaiko will result in a pale pasta while using the coloured type will result in a pale salmon pink sauce. Be sure to buy the right type of mentaiko accordingly to your preference.

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins


  • 60 grams (or one small sac) spicy 'karashi' mentaiko sac (辛子明太子)
  • 1 serving (about 70 grams) spaghetti (or any favourite pasta)
  • sea salt to taste

(A) Mentaiko Sauce

  • 30 grams butter cubed and melted in the microwave
  • 1/4 tsp Japanese shoyu (light soy sauce) to taste
  • 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sake may subsitute with mirin

Topping Suggestion

  • 1 tsp mentaiko see step 1
  • shredded nori (roasted seaweed)
  • finely shredded baby shiso or finely chopped spring onions


  1. Make a slit on the mentaiko sac and scrap out the roe with a spoon. Discard the membrane. Set aside 1 tsp of roe for garnishing.
  2. In a small bowl, add the fish roe along with (A). Whisk to combine everything together.
  3. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (firm with a bite; usually shaving 2 minutes off recommended cooking time for spaghetti). Drain pasta and reserve a small cup of pasta water.
  4. Add the mentaiko sauce to the drained pasta while it is still hot. Toss until even. If the pasta is too dry, add a bit of reserved pasta water to help bind the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt if needed.
  5. Dish the pasta to a serving plate. Garnish with mentaiko, shredded nori and shiso or spring onions.

Noob Cook Tip

If you prefer a richer taste, you can add 1 tablespoon of cream (to taste) to the mentaiko sauce.

Leave a Comment

40 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).



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