Japanese style pasta – Mentaiko or tarako spaghetti


Metaiko (or Tarako) spaghetti is one of the most popular Japanese-style pasta dishes. Mentaiko is spiced and salted roe of pollock and cod. Tarako is only salted, without spice. These are very popular pasta ingredients in Japan.

There are a few different versions of Mentaiko or Tarako spaghetti. The creamy version is also delicious, but my favorite is oil based one which I will introduce to you here.

It should not be too hard to find the ingredients as you can get the spiced and salted pollock/cod roe at your local Japanese or Korean supermarkets. If you are a fan of squid, it is also recommended to add cooked and sliced squid tubes to this dish.
Shiso leaves may be challenging to find at your neighboring stores but you can always use “nori” (seaweed) as a substitute garnish.

foodpic7287993Mentaiko or Tarako spaghetti might be an interesting flavor when it’s your first time. But who knows! It may become your favorite pasta dish. So please give it a try!

Mentaiko or Tarako spaghetti (3 – 4 servings)

  • 1 package (1 pound) Spaghetti
  • 2 – 3 Mentaiko or Tarako pieces (depends on how big it is)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality oil
  • 5 – 6 Shiso leaves, julienned
  • Nori (Seaweed)

1) Cook spaghetti “al dente” in salted water (following the instruction on the box).


2) While spaghetti is cooking, remove the inside of pollock/cod roe from the skin.

foodpic7287976 (This is Mentaiko)



3) In a bowl, mix the removed roe eggs and oil well.




4) Add cooked spaghetti into the bowl,and mix well.


5) Garnish with shiso leaves or nori to serve.


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