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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

40 Responses to “Mentaiko Pasta”

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  1. Peter — June 22, 2011 @ 1:56 am

    Very intriguing and I’m curious to try this with some of the roe I see at my local asian market. These quick pasta dishes are the best, thanks!


    • wiffy replied: — June 29th, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

      I know your area is abundant with wonderful fish roe and caviar … how delightful :)


  2. Angie@Angiesrecipes — June 22, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    This is a very interesting pasta recipe. Those mentaiko look like chicken breast….


    • wiffy replied: — June 29th, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

      maybe because it’s a close-shot. The sacs looked much smaller in real life :p


  3. MaryMoh — June 22, 2011 @ 4:58 am

    The pasta looks simple and delicious. the mentaiko is new to me. Looks cute :P Love the pasta paste.


  4. daphne — June 22, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    Me too! I’m not a fan of creamy pasta as well- a little too heavy for my liking. I love how you make the sauce yourself..and this is the first time I am seeing this roe!!


  5. Anncoo — June 22, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    Oh Wiffy, Someone gave a a box of this roe, only put on grill. Thanks for sharing this recipe.. am sure my family will love it.


    • wiffy replied: — June 29th, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

      a BOX! you’re so lucky :p


  6. Little Inbox — June 22, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Mentaiko is new to me too. Looks so delicious, and most importantly, it’s simple to make.


  7. tigerfish — June 22, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    Am also not a fan of creamy pasta…I know I can get mentaiko here, just need to make an effort to look out of it.


  8. HoppingHammy — June 22, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    Beautiful looking dish! I love your garnish of seaweed strips on top and your overall presentation. :)


  9. Jes — June 22, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    Hi there, may I know where you bought your mentaiko? Is it available all year round?
    I recently visited the Hokkaido fair at Scotts and they sell $19/100gm (that’s only about 1 sac). I must say it’s pretty pricey.. Not sure if they will sell even after the fair is over.


    • wiffy replied: — June 29th, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

      Hi Jes, I got mine from Isetan Scotts – not the fair, it’s inside the supermarket, the place where they sell sashimi. 4 sacs for S$12.90 and available all year round. Yes quite expensive ingredient, but 2 sacs can cook for 2 persons, still cheaper than ordering it outside ;)


  10. Christine's Recipes — June 22, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    This Italian-Japanese pasta dish is very special. It’s time for a change to taste something special like this. Great sharing. Thanks.


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