Chubby Hubby

Mentaiko-Tobiko Pasta, IMBB #16

This month’s Is My Blog Burning? is being hosted by Seattle Bon Vivant. She’s chosen eggs as the theme for this month’s challenge.

I decided to make one of my favourite (unhealthy) dishes, mentaiko pasta, this time topped with tobiko. Mentaiko is the Japanese term for spicy cod roe, while tobiko is flying fish roe. Mentaiko pasta is kind of an odd dish. It falls into that rather bizarre category of Japanese-Western food. It’s also not “restaurant food”. I’ve never seen a Japanese cookbook that had a recipe for it. I’ve seen recipes on some personal homepages and a few Japanese friends have told me their own ways of making it, but more or less, I’ve never seen a real set formula for making it. Which means that over time, I’ve had the pleasure of tweaking a recipe that works best for me. Of course, much to my wife’s dismay, that recipe is as artery-clogging as it is delicious.

Serves 4

1 small onion, diced
100g bacon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 packet mentaiko (usually has 3 to 4 sacs)
2.5 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
1 small packet tobiko
150g angelhair pasta

Put the butter and the mayo in a mixing bowl. Scrape the mentaiko out of the sacs and into the bowl. When the butter is soft, mix the ingredients together. Sauté the onions and the bacon. Mix them into the mentaiko sauce. Boil your pasta. Drain the pasta and mix it with the sauce. Now plate the pasta. Over the pasta, sprinkle some of the nori and spoon some tobiko over the whole thing. Enjoy.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his two kids!


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  1. J 25 June 2005

    that looks really ravishing…is this the way S and you did it that dinner at salt? really inspired to post something eggy tommorow now…

  2. Chubby Hubby 25 June 2005

    Pretty close, although at Salt, we didn't add the tobiko.

  3. boo_licious 27 June 2005

    Yummy food – you're making me want to try this out this coming week.Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. keiko 27 June 2005

    Hi Aun – this is the most beautiful Mentaiko Pasta I've ever seen! I'm getting hungry now, could I have it with a squeeze of lemon, please…

  5. Helen (AugustusGloop) 27 June 2005

    Oh yum. Looks sensational. I love tobiko but haven’t had the pleasure of mentaiko before. Fantastic photo too…

  6. chicago keith 28 June 2005

    It’s quite odd that I should come upon your recipe today, given that I was just at Mitsuwa this weekend and bought a sauce packet of this. Actually, it was tarako-chiizu, and not mentaiko. Can’t wait to try it.

  7. melissa 28 June 2005

    That looks fantastic! I have no idea what either tobiko or mentaiko taste like, but even so I'm salivating over your picture and adding them to my 'must try soon' list!

  8. megwoo 28 June 2005

    That sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it at home…

  9. Chubby Hubby 29 June 2005

    Boo Licious: Good luck making this. Glad I could inspire.Keiko: Thanks. Be happy to make it for you if you ever swing by.Augustus: Mentaiko has a really different taste from Tobiko, and used more in pastes and sauces.Melissa: You must try it. Mentaiko pasta is super-yummy.Keith: Great minds think alike, eh?mw: Thanks.

  10. Anonymous 7 July 2005

    Thanks for a great post…I was never aware of mentaiko before but now that I’ve seen this I’ll have to look for it. You blog design and photos are absolutely stunning…

  11. Stephen 8 July 2005

    Thanks for a great post…I was never aware of mentaiko before but now that I've seen this I'll have to look for it. You blog design and photos are absolutely stunning…

  12. stef 8 July 2005

    my, that looks absolutely delicious. we all should enjoy some artery-clogging dishes once in a while:)

  13. FoodNinja 8 July 2005

    That looks fantastic.. Good eye with the camera

  14. Chubby Hubby 8 July 2005

    Stephen: Thanks for the compliments. I've just discovered your blog via IMBB too. Beautiful.Stef and Templar: Thank you.

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  16. rhea 26 April 2010

    been meaning to try this recipe for awhile, and finally had the chance today. It’s delicious! i’d really missed mentaiko pasta, having lived in the states for awhile, and this totally made my day.

    I especially liked the twist of adding tobiko – gave it a crunch that i found refreshing.

    Totally reccing this recipe to my friends. Shall try your other mentaiko recipe next time =)

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