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Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko sauce

Mentaiko Pasta

Using non-coloured mentaiko will result in a pale colour while using orange mentaiko will give the pasta a bright orange hue, so choose accordingly to your preference.

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins


  • 60 grams mentaiko sacs aka spicy pollock roe (明太子)
  • 1/2 tsp Japanese shoyu (substitute with light soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sake (subsitute with mirin)
  • 30 grams butter melted
  • 1 serving favourite pasta (I am using 70g spaghetti)
  • shredded nori (roasted seaweed) for topping
  • salt to taste


  1. Make a slit on each 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 mayonnaise, sake, soy sauce and butter and whisk to combine everything together.
  3. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and reserve a small cup of pasta water.
  4. Add the mentaiko sauce prepared in step 2 to the drained pasta while it is still hot. Toss until well-mixed. 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 and garnish with shredded nori and roe.

Noob Cook Tip

  1. 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.
  2. If you prefer a richer taste, you can add a few tablespoons of cream to the sauce at step 2.

Leave a Comment

32 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 :)