This is my favourite pasta of all time! Mentaiko means spicy cod roe, and unfortunately Japanese cod roe can be somewhat difficult to get hold of in some countries. I always buy mine at the airport in Tokyo before coming back to Australia! Please make sure you don’t use Korean mentaiko which tastes totally different.
My mum used to make a simplified version of this dish using only butter and the mentaiko, but since Japanese butter tastes different to western butter, I have chosen to add a few more ingredients to try and recreate the taste.
2-3 cod roes
30g good quality butter
1tbs Japanese mayonnaise
1tsp soy sauce
Selection of wild Japanese mushrooms
This is Kanefuku mentaiko which is a famous brand of mentaiko in Japan. If you can’t find it, just try and buy the best quality mentaiko you can find. First, cut the mentaiko egg sack and spread.
Cook your pasta as per the packet’s instructions. I like to use thin pasta for this (Barilla no.3). I also fried some enoki, shimeji and eringi in a little oil but this was just because I had some leftover in the fridge – feel free to leave them out of this recipe if you wish. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the mentaiko mix and add a little soy sauce. Taste a little of the sauce, and add salt as necessary. If you have it, sprinkle some dried sea weed on top. My mum always used to sprinkle a Japanese leaf called Shiso on top, which suits this dish perfectly. However, I’ve never seen this on sale in Sydney so have had to go without! If anyone knows where I can get hold of it, please let me know