Thursday, July 26, 2012

Karashi Mentaiko Supagetti 辛子明太子スパゲッティ Spaghetti With Mentaiko And My 600th Post

Do not judge a book by its cover and it is appropriate to use the saying to describe this rather ordinary looking pasta dish. What it lacks in the look department is aptly compensated by the unique and addictive flavour that will have you ask for more, a reason why I have chosen this to be my 600th post.

Apart from the furikake (rice seasoning) and shredded nori which are used as garnishes, everything else is of foreign origins. Despite that, this quirky and very tasty dish is quintessential Japanese, the willingness of the Japanese to experiment with non Japanese ingredients is why there are always surprises awaiting when one visits a Japanese eatery.

The star of the dish is of course the karashi mentaiko (marinated spicy pollock roe) or known as myeongranjeot in Korean. Though it was only introduced to Japan over a century ago, it is now considered a common ingredient in Japanese cooking. It is difficult to describe the taste of mentaiko; it is salty, savoury, fishy , a little spicy and utterly delicious! ... words failed me really so do make it one of the ingredients you must try before you die.

P.S My dear friend A had started a lunch group at work with 5 of her colleagues (each contribute a  fixed amount of money and each would take turn making lunch etc etc.) and I was quick to say yes when she asked me for my assistance when it was her turn to cook. This formed one of the components of her bento boxes.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 3 as part of a Japanese meal or bento
you'll need;
250g spaghetti, cooked until al dente
65g of karashi mentaiko (marinated spicy pollock roe), separated from the membranes and set aside
3 heap tbs of pure cream
4 heap tbs of kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese mayonnaise)
pepper to taste
shiso fumi furikake (shiso rice seasoning) or finely shredded fresh shiso leaves
shredded nori seaweed

You can find mentaiko at all Japanese and Korean grocers (ask for myeongranjeot) and this is the packaging of the one we used.

And this is how the marinated pollock roes look like. Remove the the tiny eggs simply by making an incision on one end of the roe and squeeze out the tiny eggs from the very thin membrane.

Shiso fumi furikake (shiso rice seasoning) and we used pure jersey cream from South Australia, available at La Latteria in Carlton.

Place mentaiko, cream, cupie mayonnaise in a large seasoning bowl and whisk until well combined, season with pepper. Meanwhile cook spaghetti with a large pot of salted water.

Place drain spaghetti into the bowl with the mentaiko cream mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle with shiso fumi furikake (or fresh shiso) and shredded nori seaweed.

Or seen here as part of the offerings in a bento. Please check out my tori no karaage (fried chicken) and recipe for origini (rice balls) and maze gohan (mixed rice balls) will be posted next so please stay tuned!


  1. I made this before too, but without the cream. It's super yummy!

  2. Enhorabuena por esos 600 post por la receta

  3. Hi ,

    Looks YummY !!!

    Perfectly made :)

  4. oooh this looks amazing - is this called wafuu because of the European (spaghetti) ingredient?

  5. Looks like a fab dish and love the idea of the lunch club

  6. wow. 600 post! congratulations!
    yummy looking pasta!
    the ingredients are too foreign to me i guess i just enjoy your pic here :)
    i do love furikake sprinkled over rice - the only one i'm familiar with :)

  7. hey tummy, i hope you are only assisting A in the lunch club meals and she isn't making you cook it This dish is superb and I wish we had more at lunch that day. Love the fusion of regular spaghetti and Japanese ingredients. I will post more great meals from Lunch Club on my blog

  8. congratulations on your 600th post! I will certainly make it an ingredient to try next!

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