Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti

Indulge in Creamy Mentaiko Pasta: Irresistible Fresh Mentaiko Spaghetti Delight

This creamy mentaiko pasta will work like magic if you’re the kind of person who enjoys both mentaiko and spaghetti, together! What makes this version special is not only the fresh spaghetti, but also the creamy flavor without the use of cream! How can this be?! Read on to learn more…

Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti

This is a sponsored post. Kewpie USA was kind enough to send me a box of mayonnaise and some salad dressings and this was one of the dishes that I’ve prepared with their products. If you haven’t heard of Kewpie before, it’s well known for it’s mayonnaise, which is richer and creamier than it’s American counterparts. They also make great salad dressings, one of my favorites being the sesame one.  Give them a try if you want to add some Japanese flavor to your food!



Mentaiko Pasta without Cream (明太子パスタクリーム無し)

One of my favorite Japanese style pasta’s is mentaiko pasta(明太子パスタ)

It’s often made with cream and butter.

So those two things makes for a  really rich and decadent dish.

Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with fresh spaghetti. This is creamy and rich, yet it has no cream! Can you guess the secret ingredients?! | www.alldayieat.com

But, I think I get enough cream in my diet from all the ice cream I make.

I don’t know about you, but this led me to begin experimenting with some creamless versions of this dish.

Do you think it’s possible to have a creamy mentaiko pasta recipe without cream?

Well… in my search for something creamy and on the lighter side, I found a very good alternative to cream!

Can you guess what they are??

Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti

Your alternatives to a cream based mentaiko sauce are…

Whole milk and butter keep the sauce rich, but not overly heavy like a cream based sauce.

So far so good? Well, to enhance the flavor even more…

Some of the other secret ingredients include:

  • Sugar which balances out the saltiness of the eggs and sauce
  • Kewpie mayonnaise for additional complexity

mentaiko eggs

Of course, the mentaiko eggs keep everything nice and savory while a light soy sauce adds depth.

If it’s your first time hearing about mentaiko, it is tiny little fish eggs, also known as pollock roe.

It goes well with rice and baked goods too. Not just pasta.

The little eggs pack a ton of flavor, like most fish eggs, I suppose. Similar to bottarga, if you’ve had that while visiting Italy.

And look at those gorgeous pink eggs!!! oh mann!!

Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti


Taking the mentaiko pasta a step further…

Still with me?

Ok! Let’s take all this a step further.

You can make the mentaiko pasta with fresh spaghetti!

I’ve been making a good amount of fresh pasta recently and thought I’d try it with mentaiko.

It did not disappoint!

Fresh spaghetti paired with the sauce was a magic.✨

The soft and slightly chewy texture of fresh pasta cast a new light on my pasta recipe-eating experience.

Things will never be the same.


Fresh Mentaiko Spaghetti

I used my Kitchenaid pasta extruder with David Lebovitz’s pasta recipe for this time. (He makes good ice cream by the way:) )

If you want to know more about this Kitchenaid pasta extruder, click the link here for my product review.

Going back, the noodles came out very light and slightly chewy in taste.

The only things that I think could be improved for the pasta are the density and chewiness of the spaghetti.

I’ve yet to find a fresh pasta recipe where the noodles come out really really chewy.

I had really chewy, dense noodles in Italy and haven’t been able to replicate that texture yet at home.

I need to increase the semolina ratio, which I’ve experimented with but still haven’t found a reliable recipe.

If you have one, let me know!

Meanwhile, I’ll keep doing my research!

Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti

Some tips on making mentaiko pasta with spaghetti-

  • If you’re in a pinch and can’t make fresh spaghetti, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered~!  One of my favorite and highly recommended brands of pasta is Rustichella. If you’ve never tried it, I’d absolutely recommend giving it a try. It’s some of the best pasta I’ve found since eating it in Italy.
  • But if you want fresh pasta, I recommend you this pasta roller set that will surely help you to make your fresh pasta.
  • Mentaiko pasta is one of those dishes you need to eat the same day. Why? Well, if you reheat it, you’re gonna use the microwave, and that will quickly cook all the little eggs. You don’t want cooked these eggs, it’s not the same. An alternative is to keep the sauce separate and mix in freshly boiled or reheated pasta the next day. That’s what I do if I’m planning to have leftovers.
  • At your Japanese market, you’re likely to find two different types of mentaiko, one spicy in taste and one normal. The ‘spicy’ one really isn’t that spicy, so if you’re worried about that I’d give it a try, it’s going to be pretty mild.
  • If you’re looking for alternatives to this recipe, here are 3 of my other recipes –
Creamy mentaiko pasta

Serving Suggestions For Pasta

For serving suggestions, you can make and pair the pasta with a simple green salad or a side of garlic bread to round out the meal.

This dish also pairs well with a crisp white wine or a light beer as a side dish.

As for the presentation, you can get creative with the plating.

Consider using a large shallow pasta bowl for a rustic and comforting look just like the plating in these pasta recipes, or use a more modern square plate to showcase the colors of the dish.

No matter how you plate it, the flavors will speak for themselves!


Whether you’ve had this pasta before or not, this is one simple recipe you can enjoy in no time.

Let me know what you think or if you have any tips or questions!

If you want to try my other recipes, click here!

And if you want to know about my other food blogs, you can visit here.

PS- Stay away from the mentaiko pasta packets! Making this spaghetti recipe with pasta packets may be slightly easier than from scratch, but the flavor will not be as good! Plus it usually has color, MSG and other preservatives added to it 🙁


Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti Revisited

Creamy Mentaiko Pasta with Fresh Spaghetti

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This creamy mentaiko pasta will work like magic if you’re the kind of person who enjoys both mentaiko and spaghetti, together! What makes this version special is not only the fresh spaghetti, but also the creamy flavor without the use of cream! How can this be?! Read on to learn more…

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 8 oz fresh spaghetti
  • 100 grams Mentaiko (~ 4 Tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (+1/4 tsp more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • chives for garnish (can also use shiso, nori or green onion)


  1. Prepare a boiling pot of salted water and cook fresh spaghetti until barely al dente and set aside
  2. Prepare the mentaiko sauce by removing the eggs with a spoon from the egg sack. Combine with milk, soy sauce, mayo in a small bowl or cup and set aside.
  3. Once the pasta has cooked, drain and reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
  4. Using a large skillet or clean pot, on medium heat, melt the butter and add the pasta. Toss until pasta is evenly coated, roughly 20-30 seconds and turn heat to low.
  5. Add in the mentaiko sauce, mix to evenly coat noodles another 20-30 seconds. Be careful not to allow all the liquid to evaporate. If you did, add in reserved pasta water to thin.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with chives!
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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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