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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sakura Ebi Mentaiko Pasta

Sakura Ebi Pasta2

Sakura Ebi Pasta 4

Mentaiko Collage

Mentaiko Collage2

Sakura Ebi Pasta 3

While preparing for my last post on Sakura Ebi Fried Rice, I had tried to google about Sakura Ebi and found a whole avalanche of interesting recipes using Sakura Ebi (Cherry Blossom Dried Shrimps). The Japanese sites were especially inspiring and one that stood out was a simple yet what appeared to be a universally embraced recipe : The Sakura Ebi Pasta. This is one of those recipes that is exotic east meets west - where the Japanese takes Wafu(和風)flavours and incorporates it with western cuisine and ...lo & behold... there has been no looking back since. This is especially true when the pasta sauce is based on a Mentaiko butter sauce which is easily the favourite Wafu spaghetti recipe in Japan and beyond.

For those who are not familiar with the Mentaiko (明太子), these are actually spicy pollock roe. They are also sometimes referred to as spicy cod roe. The mentaiko has a salty and spicy taste - as a result of the marinating and light fermenting process in chilli, sake and konbu. It is actually very flavourful. One can buy these at the supermarkets over the sushi / sashimi counter. Bought over the sashimi counter, they would still be in their own membrane/ sac. These will need to be slit open with a knife and the delicious roe can then be scraped out.

These are mixed with butter, lemon juice, a little Japanese mayonaise and a little Olive oil. I did not use up all the Mentaiko butter and had wrapped the remaining butter using cling wrap into a log (like a susage) and stashed it away in the freezer.

Topped with the Sakura Ebi which were lightly pan fried to a fragrant crunchiness, this pasta dish is actually very very good. What would I do differently next time? - Add some fried onions and sprinkle some seaweed dust.

Sakura Ebi Pasta 1

Recipe :

1-2 sacs                    Sashimi grade Mentaiko
1 tbsp                       Unsalted butter
1/2bsp                      Japanese Mayonnaise
1 tsp                         Olive oil
1 tsp                         Lemon juice

1 portion                   Spaghetti
Handful                     Sakura Ebi

Salt & Pepper           To taste

Method:

1. Slit open the Mentaiko sac and remove egg roe. Mix softened butter, mayo, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Add in egg roe and mix well to get a smooth creamy sauce.

2. In a shallow frying pan, add a few drops of olive oil. Add Sakura Ebi and toast fry until it is fragrant and crispy.

3. Prepare spaghetti as directed on packaging.

4. Toss drained spaghetti in a dollop of Mentaiko butter sauce.

5. Top with Crispy Sakura Ebi.

4 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

May I just say your photos are beautiful..I have just found you and I will be perusing at my leisure..So lovely!

tracieMoo said...

This is a very interesting pasta! I've never seen this but I love the whole idea :)

zurin said...

You got me gulping several times while reading ur post Shirley. roe~ i love roe . this looks amazing! ur fotos are brilliant as Monique says.

yours deliciously said...

This is super delicious.Love it with angel hair pasta..

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