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Tuesday, 19 April 2005

My favourite Japanese dish

It may be strange but everytime I go to Japan, I have to order Mentaiko Spagetti This is usually a wafu cafe/izakaya dish. Mentaiko is walleye pollack roe pickled with salt and chili powder. This Hakata specialty was inspired by Korean daily cuisine, and is now appreciated and enjoyed all over Japan.

The preparation of this dish is very simple. Cook your spagetti the way you like it. Cut unsalted dried seaweed into thin slices (sometimes you can buy pre-sliced dried seaweed). Remove the mentaiko from its protective skin, use 1/4 to half piece for each serving. After the spagetti is cooked, put the mentaiko onto the spagetti, and then the dried seaweed. Mix well and serve with roasted sesame seeds.

So far, I haven't seen fresh mentaiko available in Melbourne, but there are prepackaged Mentaiko mix available from Japanese and Chinese groceries. My favourite brand is "Mama" - they are not tight on the mentaiko ! With this prepackaged mix, you simply cook the spagetti and put the mentaiko and dried seaweed strips over it.

For a gourmet mentaiko spagetti dish, you can add your selection of seafood by stir-frying the cooked spagetti with the seafood in olive oil for a few minutes. Then put the mentaiko and seaweed on the seafood spagetti.

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