Tarako Pasta with Eggplant or Zucchini

February 27, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by BoulderGalinTokyo
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 8 minutes
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

My kids told me they wanted to eat Tarako (Cod Roe) Spaghetti. Coming from Colorado, I didn't have much experience with seafood. So we went out to eat this dish at some restaurant, probably Jolly Pasta, I've forgotten where because we've eaten this popular dish so many times.
It's basically Tarako Sauce with pasta added 'for the number of people you want to serve'. Even though the original is spaghetti, I like curly or shaped pasta because it "catches" the roe. I add the optional ingredients because my son hates vegetables and eggplant looks like shiitake when cooked.

Nira is Garlic Chives or Chinese Chives. You might find at an Asian store or sometimes Whole Foods. You can substitute Garlic Stems but the texture will not be as silky...

Cod Roe can be found in the Sushi/Sashimi section at the fish market or sometimes it is frozen. If the Sacs are broken, it won't affect the dish, and the cod roe is probably cheaper. Mentaiko is also OK. —BoulderGalinTokyo

What You'll Need
  • 100 g/4 ounces of Spaghetti, Corkscrew, or Fusilli Pasta
  • 1 small Onion, 1/4 inch slice, cut about 1 inch long
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2/person small Shiitake Mushrooms, cap & stem thinly sliced
  • 35-50g/person Tarako (Cod Roe) about 1.5 ounces/person
  • 1 cup Nira, (Garlic Chives) chop in 1 inch pieces
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  1. Start the pasta water. Prepare all vegetables first. Check the boiling time of your pasta. Everything should finish at about the same time. The whole-wheat fusilli takes 12 min. but some spaghettini takes 4 min. so add the pasta to boiling water accordingly.
  2. Put olive oil in a skillet or wok. Over medium heat stir the onions until transparent, then add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook about 2 minutes.
  3. Slice the roe sacs and squeeze into the skillet (cook the sacs too (my daughter's favorite) or discard. Turn the heat down or the eggs will start popping out of the pan. Break up any clumps. Keep sauteing until the roe eggs start to turn light pink.
  4. Add the nira, saute for about 1 minute, add the pasta. If it sticks, add a little of the pasta water. Toss with a little more olive oil. Grate with fresh pepper at the table.
  5. Optional: One Japanese eggplant, cut in half the long way, then into 1/4 inch slices can be added with the mushrooms. Same with zucchini. I like a little cayenne pepper.
  6. Notes* One Portabella mushroom may be substituted for every person. Maitake mushrooms also work well. Do not use canned mushrooms as they don't soak up the olive oil and garlic. You can add salt if you like, but the cod roe is salty.

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