Mentaiko Spaghetti 

There’s always a part of me that wishes I could consume an unlimited number of carbs and still feel good about it. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. But that doesn’t stop me from making the best of my meals that revolve mainly around carbs. 

Have you heard of or tried mentaiko? It’s a seasoned pollock roe that’s quite popular in Japanese cuisine. I came across a box of it while shopping at E Mart and decided to try making my own mentaiko spaghetti. I love the distinct salty taste and texture of it paired with strands of spaghetti in a light sauce. At my first attempt, I added it to a sauce made up of butter, cream and a squirt of Japanese Mayo. Although it was good, I found it a bit too rich and masked the taste of the mentaiko. This time, I used a mix of melted butter and pasta water and it was much better. It was lighter and I could taste the pop of the mentaiko with each bite. It was a perfect pairing with nori strips. If only I had some shiso leaves to add to it. 

Remember, it always important to taste and season as you go when you’re cooking. I used salted roasted nori and found I didn’t need to add any salt to the dish. 

For two servings, a rough estimate of ingredients. 

  • Two loonie sized handfuls of spaghetti 
  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter, melted 
  • 3 sacks of mentaiko
  • Dash of Japanese soy sauce 
  • Pasta water, as needed
  • Strips of nori 
  1. Defrost 3 sacks of mentaiko a hour before you’re planning on making the dish. Once defrosted, slice sacks in half vertically and scrape out the seasoned roe. Set aside. 
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt and add spaghetti. Cook to al dente stage according to directions on the package. 
  3. In a large bowl, add melted butter, dash of Japanese soy sauce and 3/4 of the mentaiko. Add cooked spaghetti to the bowl and toss everything together, adding pasta water as needed to loosen the mixture and to form a light sauce. 
  4. Plate up your spaghetti, top with nori strips and the remaining mentaiko. Slurp up and enjoy! 

This made for a fabulous quick lunch for my hubby and I. It was absolutely delicious and satisfied all cravings I had for carbs. As I was eating it, I began to wonder how it would taste if I added a raw egg yolk or a soft sous vide egg to the dish. I bet the creamy runny egg yolk mixed in would taste great. Well, there’s always next time and it gives me an excuse to make this dish again. 


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