Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko pasta is a simple Japanese-style pasta sauced with olive oil and spicy cod roe. This version is creamy and briny and can be prepared in minutes.


  • 1/2 cup karashi mentaiko spicy code roe
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mild flavor, not spicy or green
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 16 ounces dried spaghetti or other pasta boiled according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into a couple slices
  • 6 leaves green shiso rolled then sliced thin
  • 1/4 sheet nori cut into thin strips with scissors


  1. If you get your mentaiko (a.k.a. spicy cod or pollack roe) in a jar you can just measure it out into a bowl. Otherwise cut each roe sac in half and squeeze out the roe from each half, discarding the membrane.
  2. Add the olive oil and black pepper and stir to combine. Meanwhile boil a large pot of well salted water and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  3. When the pasta is done, drain thoroughly and add to the bowl with the mentaiko sauce. Add the butter and toss until the butter is melted and you have an even coating of sauce on each strand of pasta. Serve immediately, garnished with shiso and nori.


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