Monday, November 9, 2009

Tarako (Salted Cod Roe) Spaghetti

I'm so excited to finally get the chance to make Tarako (salted cod roe) spaghetti. I originally stumbled upon a recipe for Mentaiko (spicy cod roe) spaghetti while browsing for a Japanese fusion dish. Tarako is the non-spicy version. Tarako/Mentaiko is commonly used as the filling for onigiri (rice ball). What I didn't know was that mixing it with pasta is a very popular Japanese-Italian fusion dish. I've been dying to try it ever since. Sadly, I don't live anywhere near a Japanese market so I had to put this thought in the back burner.

Saturday night, hubby and I had a dinner double date in Irvine and there was a Korean market on the same complex as the restaurant. Even though Tarako/Mentaiko is Japanese, I decided to go inside and search for it. I found a small container labeled "Salted Whiting Roe" that contained 4 membrane sacs. Truthfully I had no idea if Whiting fish is the same as Cod fish but it was the only thing I found that looked like Tarako/Mentaiko so I went for it and hoped for the best. Once I got home, I googled Whiting fish and found out that it's a cod-like fish. Pheww... :) So I made Tarako spaghetti for lunch yesterday and surprisingly it was so fast and easy to make. And not was oh so delicious!! I'll definitely try this recipe again using Mentaiko and explore other pairings using this delicacy so stay tuned...

This recipe is adapted from: Chubby Hubby

Makes 5 servings

1 pkg. spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
4 sacs Tarako/Mentaiko
3 T. butter, salted
2 large shallots, finely diced
1 C. half and half (I used fat-free)
3 T. dry white wine
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. Japanese mayonaise
1/4 C. nori strips + extra of garnish
5 soft-boiled eggs

Cooking instruction:

1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package (minus 1 minute). Drain and reserve 1/2 C. of the pasta water.

2. Cut the sac lengthwise and scrape out the fish eggs with a spoon and set aside.

2. In a large pan, melt butter under medium heat then add shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes until opaque.

3. Add half and half, white wine, and lemon juice and simmer for a few mintues until sauce thickens. Stir in the fish eggs into the cream mixture.

5. Add spaghetti and pasta water into the pan and mix for 1-2 minutes until pasta becomes al dente.

6. To serve, place pasta on a plate. Top with a softboil egg and garnish with nori strips. If you like it spicy, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top.


  1. I had no idea that fish eggs came in sacs like that! I've never had Tarako before, but it looks delicious :)

  2. Hi Von,
    Thanks! :) This was my first time working with them, too. They're quite easy to deal with. I highly recommend trying it :)

  3. I have been perusing tarako recipes for weeks since trying tarako at Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo. This is the tastiest looking recipe I have seen. I plan to try it using spaghetti squash instead of pasta to eat a little light pre-thanksgiving this week. Thank you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails