Hed Chef

Mentaiko Pasta: Worth eating carbs for

Cook Mentaiko Pasta for an easy one-dish meal.
Cook Mentaiko Pasta for an easy one-dish meal.PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - For a quick yet luxurious dish that is easy to rustle up, try mentaiko pasta.

Mentaiko is spicy cured pollock roe, but I find it more savoury than spicy. With just a few ingredients and minimal effort, you can enjoy a Japanese cafe-style one-dish meal at home.

Being crazy about shiso (perilla), I have added more of it in my take on this Japanese fusion dish. You can do without shiso and use nori strips as a garnish, but it isn't quite the same.

Shiso has a herbaceous, nutty mintiness that helps cut through the creaminess and intensify both flavour and texture.

This is one dish that requires very little washing up afterwards. Serve it with a side salad and you are set for a delectable fuss-free meal.

Mentaiko Pasta

INGREDIENTS

2 shiso leaves
2 litres of water
2 tsp fine salt
85g angel hair pasta
1 tbsp thickened cream
45g mentaiko (marinated pollock roe), removed from the sac
10g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pinch of sea salt
10 nori strips
3g Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings

METHOD

1. Rinse and dry the shiso leaves.

2. Place the leaves one on top of the other. Roll them up and slice finely. Set aside.

3. Bring 2 litres of water to boil in a saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt.

4. Let water reach boiling point again and add pasta. Boil according to packet instructions. It is usually around 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off fire.

5. Pour pasta out into a colander to drain off water. Place pasta back into pot.

6. In a bowl, mix thickened cream with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

7. Add this to the pasta and stir through.

8. Add in three-quarters of the mentaiko and toss through. Sprinkle on the pinch of sea salt and toss briefly.

9. Transfer the pasta onto a plate. Place the remaining mentaiko on top. Garnish with finely sliced shiso, nori strips and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.

10. Serve immediately.

Makes one serving.