Saturday, February 26, 2005

Izakaya Menu -1- Mentaiko Spaghetti

OK, for those (including foodpocket) who are interested in what kind of food we make at the Izakaya where I work, here’s one thing we serve there: Mentaiko Spaghetti.

Mentaiko Spaghetti

So, what’s mentaiko? This site explains what it is. (See Karashi-mentaiko there.) Some people like it on cooked white rice or in onigiri (rice balls), and some people use it for making fried rice. There was no such thing as mentaiko spaghetti when I was a kid, but maybe in the past 15 to 20 years, it has become popular in Japan, I guess.

Again, I usually depend on the “seasoning paste” when I make mentaiko spaghetti. I guess the paste is mentaiko mixed with veg. shortening or something, and maybe artificial color, too?

I add a little bit butter when mixing the paste and spaghetti just like they do at the Izakaya (I'm not allowed to make this there. Cooks do).
See the tiny, pink fish eggs on pasta?

And this topping --- thinly sliced shiso (green perilla) leaves and thin nori (dried seaweed) strips --- is exactly what they sprinkle on this a bit spicy spaghetti at the Izakaya.

This is not the most popular dish at the Izakaya I work, but some people seem to love this very much.


Anonymous said...

hi obachan
This mentaiko spaghetti reminds me of a diet dish I read in a diet book from Japan (translated into Chinese of course). How does mentaiko taste? I havent tried this...  

Posted by pinkcocoa

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan! Thanks for the special attention to my request! I've never tried mentaiko spaghetti because fish eggs were never my thing...but I'd give yours a try! =) Maybe I'll try mentaiko spaghetti sometime before I leave Japan; I like spicy stuff anyway! 

Posted by foodpocket

Anonymous said...

Interesting.. ! Wat does it taste like..?? 

Posted by MrsT

Anonymous said...

Oh~ Obachan... Love this post of yours. I love anything with mentaiko, including mentaiko spaghetti!  

Posted by fish fish

Anonymous said...

> pinkcocoa --- Mmmmm…how should I describe this… it’s fishy, salty and spicy. Butter makes it a bit milder, though.

> foodpocket --- Well, it is spicy indeed. I myself didn’t like fish eggs so much before, but I guess I grew on it. I’m not sure if you’d like it, but it’d be an experience ; ) Mentaiko is also good with boiled and buttered potatoes. I’ll post about it, too, someday.

> MrsT --- Like I wrote above, fishy, salty and spicy is the only way I can describe it. BTW, did the Japanese characters for “Adam” look OK on your browser?

> fish fish --- Oh, do you? Glad that you liked this post. I thought the photo wasn’t too good this time. It didn't show the nice pink color... 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Ooh I like this dish very much. Always order it if I see it. Can't figure out how they make it spicy though.

It is good smeared on bamboo clams and then grilled. My favourite way to eat bamboo clams. (coincidence? -This dish happens to be my blog's headline picture this month) 

Posted by umami

Anonymous said...

Love all your posts!!! especially the bakings, just thought i'd drop a note to say keep it up! i visit this site often! :)


Posted by onlyyu

Anonymous said...

Hey, Obachan!

Actually, Mentaiko is my favorite. but it's expensive here in Korea. i sometimes cook a steamed egg with mentaiko. Have you tried?

are you going to post more izakaya food? i hope so.


Posted by grilled_aubergine

Anonymous said...

> umami --- Oh, you have mentaiko spaghetti over there? I guess what makes mentaiko spicy is ground red pepper. I just saw your blog’s headline pic. I’ve never seen bamboo clams before, but I can imagine that mentaiko and clams can be a good combination.

> onlyyu --- Thanks a million! :D How nice of you to drop this note. Hope you keep coming back.

> grilled_aubergine --- Do you call this mentaiko in Korea? I’ve never tried steamed egg with mentaiko, but it does sound good. I also love mentaiko omelet. Yep. I’m certainly going to post more izakaya food. ; )  

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

aaah, so this is what Japanese spaghetti is like. i've seen it offered in most Japanese restaurants here and I kept wondering. you know, spaghetti in Japanese restaurants? i was thinking of red sauce! i'll make sure to try this next time. 

Posted by purplegirl

Anonymous said...

My Japanses friend made this for me and I loved it. He added some white wine, Shintake mushrooms, green onions, and I think pickled ginger. Ohhhhh, it was sooooo delicious! I just bought some mentai yesterday and can't wait to make mentaiko spaghetti tonight! I had forgotten all of the ingredients but seeing your recipe reminded me how to make it. Thanks. 

Posted by Sheryl

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for my family, who bought ALOT karashi mentaiko, they decided they hate it. Fortunately for me, i LOVE these stuff. Tonights dinner : fresh pane di casa with cream cheese avocado and mentaiko..amazing! but now im too stuffd.