Japanese Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko is a popular late night “drunk” food in Japan consisting mainly of roe, noodles and butter. In our version we added a couple of extra toppings to make it extra special and to give it more layers of flavor. Also by adding crispy quinoa to the dish you’ll get a delicious crunch with every bite that goes perfectly with the creaminess of this delicious dish.


1 5oz packet of defrosted spicy pollack row – You can find this at your local asian market. (Also you can use plain pollack roe but it won’t have as much flavor.)

1 lb box of pasta noodle: spaghetti, linguini, ramen or bucatini. *We prefer the bucatini which is a hollow spaghetti and holds more of the sauce.

4 large shiso leaves – You can find them at your local asian market.

6 tbsp Unsalted Butter

1 tbs Soy Sauce


In general the above list of ingredients are the classic recipe. But why not make it your own with your favorite toppings?! Below are some of our favorites.

Green Onion

Crispy Quinoa – *Recipe Below

Soft Boiled Egg

Pickled Radishes


Sautéed Mushrooms

Salmon Roe


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

2. While waiting for the water to boil. In a separate small pan melt butter on medium/high heat and cook until slightly brown. Remove from heat.

3. Remove pollack roe lobes from the package. Cut each lobe in half and squeeze out the pollack roe into a large bowl (Use bowl large enough to mix pasta in). Add soy sauce to roe.

4. Add melted brown butter to the roe.

5. Once water is boiling add pasta and cook to preference or package recommended time for “al dente”.

6. With a pair of tongs transfer pasta to the bowl of roe and butter mixture. Add a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of pasta water to help create the sauce. Mix pasta and sauce until all combined.

Serve in a bowl and top with your favorite toppings! Eat up!

*Crispy Quinoa

For the crispy quinoa its best to use cooked quinoa that has been cooled in the fridge for six to eight hours. This allows for some of the moisture to evaporate.


1 cup Quinoa

2 cups water

2 tbs melted butter


Cook 1 cup of quinoa per package instructions. Place in fridge for six hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a bowl mix the quinoa with the melted butter.

On a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper spread quinoa evenly and place in the oven for five minutes. Check occasionally and mix quinoa to make sure doesn’t burn and gets evenly toasted. Re-spread and cook for another three minutes until evenly toasted. Remove and let cool.




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