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S&B Pasta Sauce: Mentaiko

Though rarely found in the United States, mentaiko pasta sauce is a big hit at Italian restaurants and coffee houses in Japan. Mentaiko is spicy cod roe and its unique salty flavor is the perfect companion for noodles and rice. Just pour the packet on your prepared sauce vehicle of choice and enjoy the fantastic fresh flavors!

Common Allergens: Fish, Wheat, Soy.

What’s The Difference Between Tarako and Mentaiko?

Mentaiko is often mistaken for tarako. Both tarako and mentaiko are traditional seafood ingredients in Japan made from salted pollock or cod roe. Mentaiko is marinated in chili peppers and spice, but tarako has only been marinated in salt. 


Tarako is mild and simple: it has a light pink color, and a tender texture. Mentaiko has much more vivid and deep color and flavor than tarako - it tastes  saltier and fishier.

How To Cook With Mentaiko and Tarako

You’re most likely to see mentaiko on the menu as a filling for onigiri rice balls, as a side dish alongside steamed rice, or as a topping for ochazuke (green-tea-over-rice), ramen, and rice bowls. You can use mentaiko in sushi, as a spread when mixed with Japanese mayonnaise, or even make tempura with the cod roe lobe itself.  And the most unexpected yet most common dish that includes mentaiko? The renowned and much loved mentaiko spaghetti! 

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