We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Mentaiko?

By B. Chisholm
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Mentaiko is a Japanese dish made of pollock roe, or eggs, pickled in various ingredients which makes it spicy. It can be eaten plain, often served as an accompaniment when drinking sake, which is Japanese rice wine. It may also be combined with other ingredients in various dishes popular in Japan such as in a sauce with pasta and in onigiri, where it is wrapped in rice. Due to the ingredients used to spice it, it remains preserved. Mentaiko is freely available in Japan — Fukuoka being the city where it originated — and most supermarkets specializing in Japanese cuisine, worldwide.

Thought to have originally come from Korea, mentaiko is made from the roe of the Alaskan pollock, which are a commonly caught fish in the Northern Pacific ocean. The roe, which are fully formed fish eggs, are removed from the fish and then prepared. Recipes may differ from chef to chef and the Korean version differs from the Japanese and is called myeongran jeot. The color and taste of mentaiko depends on what is added to the roe.

An example of the flavorful ingredients that are used are chili, sake, yuzu citrus and konbu, in which the pollock roe is left marinating for several hours, during which time it absorbs the flavors and color of the ingredients. Yuzu citrus is a citrus fruit native to Japan which is about the size of a tangerine and is very sour. It is often hard to find in the rest of the world, although some specialty food shops may sometimes have it. Konbu is a type of edible kelp or seaweed, which is very salty and is high in many minerals.

After marinating for some hours, the mentaiko takes on an orange to red color and is then either removed from its natural membrane and placed in jars or left in the membrane and packaged as such. When served plain, while drinking sake, the mentaiko is removed from the membrane or jar and served. Onigiri is another popular dish in Japanese cuisine and consists of a ball of rice, often wrapped around a filling such as mentaiko and sometimes placed in seaweed, making transport and eating easy.

Another popular dish which is made using mentaiko is mentaiko noodles or pasta. Recipes differ widely and range from just adding the mentaiko, as is, to pasta, all the way through to more complicated dishes. These may include combinations of cream, mayonnaise, butter and sake.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.