Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mentaiko-Tobikko Cold Japanese Pasta Tossed with Truffle Cream

I talked about Mentaiko in my last post. Well, here's what I did with it - cold Japanese pasta.

This dish will burn a big hole in your pocket if you order them in one of the top restaurants in Asia - I won't mention which. I've done a home version here that costs me a fraction and tastes wonderful. By the way, I'm a late adopter - this dish was all the rage a few years back in the fine dining scene. But that's the wonderful thing about food - there's no such thing as a late comer. It's as relevant today as it was back in 2009.

I used Japanese spaghetti - they are cute little shorties like these compared with the Italian ones. Yes, the Japs have miniaturised pasta too.

1 packet of Japanese pasta, 150g
Mentaiko, 40g
Tobikko, 30g (the bright orange salty roe you find on top of sushi)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to lubricate
Japanese Sesame Salt, 1 tsp
Fresh Crabmeat (optional)
Black Truffles (sauce or cream), 2 tsp
Japanese Seaweed and Toasted Sesame Seeds, to garnish
A Dash of Truffle Oil at the table

1. Place clean, empty plates in fridge.
2. Cook pasta according to instructions on package, about 4 minutes for al-dente.
3. Drain and rinse pasta under cold running water.
4. Scrap mentaiko and mix together with pasta, tobikko, and truffle cream. Mix well.
5. Add EVOO if it's too dry to mix.
6. Taste and add salt.
7. Leave in fridge to cool.
8. Serve very cold on very cold plates.
9. Top with fresh crab meat and/or shredded seaweed.
10. Add a dash of truffle oil and Japanese sesame salt at the table.

The Tobikko provides the occasional salty pop in your mouth, while the truffles add a deep complex flavour, yes, bringing my 2 favourite cuisines together - Italian and Japanese. Nom nom. Arigato Gozaimas!

See more readers' comments here.


  1. Such an exquisite dish! You have just triggered my carb cravings. Love the shots, the mentaiko look like pearls in an ocean of pasta. This is a dish I would love if only I could get my hands on those sparkling gems.

    1. Step into the Japanese supermarket to make your dreams come true!

  2. Oh boy, now i want to eat this for dinner instead of the ABC soup and stir fry veg i just cooked!!! Arrgh. Looked sooo pretty, i gree with Phong, the mentaiko looked like orange pearls. Sigh i shall be thinking about this for the next 12 hours until tomorrow lunch haha!

  3. Esther, it is really yummy. I make a tub of it and constantly open the fridge for a few bites throughout the day!


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