Mentaiko Spaghetti

Mentaiko means seasoned cod fish eggs. It may be hard to find where you live, but some Japanese supermarkets sell them frozen. You can also buy Mentaiko in the souvenir section at Japanese airports. Fukuoka city has a very famous variety of mentaiko. We use it in rice bowls, omelets, and many other foods. It’s a little spicy and taste very good. Please try this recipe if you can find mentaiko. It's perfect for spaghetti.

2 servings
20 minutes


  • 1/2 lb pasta noodles
  • 4 pieces green perilla (oba), chopped thin
  • 1 mentaiko (about 60g)
  • 1/2 medium onion (sliced)
  • 15g butter
  1. Boil pasta until al dente
  2. Take the mentaiko out of the skin
  3. Microwave butter 30 seconds in a small bowl, add mentaiko, and mix
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes over medium heat
  5. Add pasta, mix with onion then add mentaiko with butter
  6. Turn off the stove and stir (until mentaiko is thouroughly mixed in)
  7. Put green perilla on the top


  1. I always see mentaiko at the Korean supermarket in the States but don't know what to do with do. I will try the dish next time.

  2. I'm glad you could find it! Hope you like it!

  3. I made mentaiko fried rice today instead of pasta because I've got a lot of leftover rice. It tasted good but it's not as spicy as I thought. Maybe it's because of the kind of mentaiko I got. It's from Korea not from Japan. What else can we cook with mentaiko? Can we eat it raw?
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. I've never tried mentaiko fried rice! Sounds good! Actually, mentaiko lose their taste if you overcook them, and also there are many kinds, some spicy, some not. You can, in fact, eat them raw; I eat them with steamed rice, and it's also good in eggs. Make scrambled egg and add it just when the egg starts to cook. Salt to taste. Thank you for giving me so many comments! That makes me really happy!!

  5. No problem, Mai. I believe a blog should be interactive! You are taking so much time to write all the recipes in English. If I see sometime that I can relate to, I will definitely leave a comment. BTW, I saw the pictures on your other blog. You look very pretty! :)

    I made the pasta version the other night with the leftover mentaiko. Gosh, my daughter LOVES it! I put some smoked salmon in it at the end. It worked very well. YUM!!! I will try the scrambled egg next time.

  6. The blog is definitely good English practice. I'm happy that your daughter loves Japanese food! Thank you very much!

  7. Hi Mai, great job describing the recipe!! I'm a Singaporean lady who is currently living in Canada (unfortunately, not in Vancouver where Japanese food is in abundance!).

    I've LOOOOOVED mentaiko for forever. We can find it in supermarkets in Singapore quite easily, and even though it's pretty expensive (imported from Japan), I do frequently buy it because I really can't describe my great love for it haha. Also, I love Ikura and Ebiko too..

    I've been to Kyoto, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka - I had my strongest-smelling but best ever mentaiko there in Osaka! :)

    Only a few months ago I first ate mentaiko pasta in Singapore and I fell in love with it. I want to try making it here in Canada, but there's nowhere here to buy mentaiko... :( Do you know any online store or Japanese stores that deliver fresh mentaiko? I don't quite like the sound of frozen mentaiko... here on the East cost of Canada, people eat a lot of frozen food! -_-

  8. Thank you Lydia, I don't know of any online stores. Are you in Toronto? If so, there is a supermarket called "Sanko" on Queen street. There is lots of Japanese food but I am not sure if they have fresh mentaiko. Also J-town on Markham might have it because there is a fresh fish store there: http://www.jtown.ca

  9. Wow, thanks Mai! I'm not in Toronto but I do go occasionally.. it's 3hrs away by bus.

    Hmm.. Sanko on Queen St and Markham eh? COOL! Thanks! :))

    P.S. By the way I was transiting in Narita a few days ago and bought a box of mentaiko...unfortunately, I left it behind in my aunt's refrigerator in Toronto so she will be sending it to me. Silly me! LOL.

  10. Haha, that's a great story. Hope she gets it to you soon. What were you doing in Narita? Just a layover in Japan?

  11. thank goodness for your blog. i grew up in japan can came to the states for college. this is home cooking and home comfort for me:) Arigatou

  12. I'm so glad to hear that! I left Japan for school as well so I know exactly how you feel. Please let us know if there are any other recipes you'd like to see on Japan Food Addict.

  13. I'm happy I found your food blog. I love japanese food. And am looking forward to your future postings and going over your previous postings. If I may add. I add the mentaiko to the miso tako side dish. I slice the japanese tako and dip in a sauce mixture of 2-3 Tbsp. miso, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. grated ginger and some mentaiko. Nice and refreshing side dish.

  14. I'm happy you like Japan Food Addict! And thank you for the side dish suggestion :) I will try it!