Mentaiko (明太子) is marinated pollock roe and a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It is salty and filled with umami deliciousness.
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Mentaiko is chilli-flavoured, hence it is also commonly referred to as “karashi mentaiko” (辛子明太子). They come in coloured (first picture; adds an aesthetic touch to dishes) and non-coloured (pictured above) variations, so be sure to buy the right type according to your preference.
To get the roe, simply make a slit on the sac and scrap out the roe with a spoon (pictured above). Discard the membrane.
Above: Mentaiko Pasta Recipe
In Singapore, you can purchase this ingredient at local Japanese supermarkets (such as Sakuraya, Meidi Ya, Isetan Scotts and selected Cold Storage sushi counter). I bought mine from Isetan Scotts. They should be refrigerated or frozen according to the duration of storage required.