Noob Cook Recipes

Portobello Stuffed Spinach Recipe Bacon Wrapped Enoki Recipe Tonjiru Recipe (Japanese Pork Soup) konnyaku(konjac) Instant Dashi Braised Mushrooms Recipe

Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko Pasta Recipe

Get this recipe on the next page >>

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”

  1. norma — June 23, 2011 @ 4:17 am

    Looks so good. I love the saki set.


  2. Jun — June 23, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    I am ashamed to say that I have never heard of mentaiko! It looks very interesting.


  3. Little Corner of Mine — June 24, 2011 @ 3:01 am

    How interesting!


  4. lisaiscooking — June 25, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    I’m not familiar with mentaiko, but I’m wondering if the flavor is similar to bottarga (which I love)? The pasta looks great with the shredded nori on top!


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

      I have not heard or tried bottarga before, now you got me interested. Will try it out in future :)


  5. jo — June 25, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    Hi Wiffy, the pasta looks delicious. I don’t think I have ever had this before as I usually go for Italian pasta rather than Japanese ones.


  6. Pipana — June 26, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    Awwww, mentaiko pasta! My fave!!!
    Sadly, there is no mentaiko in Porto, so I have to look at your pix and drool over my PC monitor LOL!


    • wiffy replied: — June 29th, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

      aww, what a pity! Hopefully my version don’t look too shabby compared to the authentic ones you used to eat in Japan.


  7. Rylan Ty — June 28, 2011 @ 1:02 am

    This one is sooo interesting! Of course interesting-good! I wish I could try it but it doesn’t seem to appear vegetarian with the sac. Hmmm, is there a good alternative to it? I DO love the nori twist though, that is just sooo neat!


    • wiffy replied: — June 29th, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

      I’m not sure if there is any vegetarian caviar out there, but if you come across any you can try that for the recipe :)


  8. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets — June 29, 2011 @ 3:52 am

    Oh wow I’ve never heard of such a thing — must be very flavorful!


  9. Jessica — July 23, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    Hi, where do you get the mentaiko from?


    • wiffy replied: — July 25th, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

      Hi, supermarkets at Isetan Scotts, Takashimaya (SG) will sell it. Selected Cold Storage outlets sell it too (sushi/sashimi section).


  10. Grace — February 1, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    Being a Fukuoka resident (福岡県福岡市) there is PLENTY of mentaiko here! Question: can you use mentaiko from a tube? Got some as an omiyage and don’t care for it on its own. How would you adjust? Can’t wait to hear back (: thanks!