Home-made Awamori spicy tarako for delicious pasta (via GIO)

LY I made my own fish eggs…

It’s really tasty and much less salty than the commercial version. Of course I can’t store it, but why would I ?

Tarako pasta


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Fragrances and flavors sealed in the shell

Another scallop appetizer, very simple and tasty. That’s the 5th and last for that day and that set.

The rest of the series of scallops in their shell :

Japanese sashimi (otsukuri)

fruity Korean sashimi

Creamy miso (brasero)

bataa-shoyu yaki (brasero)

An old anecdote… That was at work and we were “dispatched” in a company that also owned a (pretentious ?) little restaurant. Probably they were good cooks, I can’t tell. Mr. Boss was really huge with all the health problems that come with over-weight. At that time, he was on a strict. Surprisingly, he invited us for lunch. That could have been nice, but he had chosen the menu and everybody was served the same as himself. The main dish was a sealed shell like this, served on a pile of 3 huge precious plates, on superb table cloth, with silver cutlery, in a dining-room where you can’t help thinking “Oh my, what happens if I let anything fall on that white carpet that seem to be made of silk. Our lunch was just that. Oh, 3 leaves of cute bonsai salads that came before. No bread on the table (too much temptation for the dietomane). Carbonated water, and flat water, in heavy crystal glasses. 3 glasses for water. Isn’t that chic ? The third to make a cocktail of the 2 liquids, I guess.
There was a dessert, to make it totally cynical : a plate of fruits with half a lichee, a slice of grapefruit and a cherry. The meal was lasting eternally. You know, that was as grand-ma said : take your time, eat slowly, enjoy conversation, don’t stuff your face. We ate every leaf of parsley, every crumb of the sealing dough, the stalk of the cherry and the rind of grapefruit -they said it was organic. That was not that bad as we had a chunk of sugar and a Creap (faux cream) with coffee.
And after that, no more time to eat our bento lunch boxes, we were good for 8 hours of hunger, well of work, plus 20 looong minutes of greetings… and then as soon I was in the street I sprinted to the nearest takoyaki booth and devored dozens.

The scallop and a set of veggies.
Yellow paprika, parsley, peel of yuzu citrus, a few bits of raw ginger.

Nanohana, it’s rape green blossoms.

Wet that with awamori, the sticky rice alcohol popular in Okinawa. It’s sweet and fruity. If you are adventurous, there is this : a condiment made of the same alcohol and small Okinawan (fierce) small chilis.

Seal with dough. I just mixed flour and water and I don’t eat it, but you can use pastry dough and then it can be eaten.
Then bake 10 to 15 minutes in a very hot oven. At 10, it’s rare and the dough is under-cooked (not eatable). At 15, it’s well done and the dough is good to be eaten. I prefer my shellfish rare, which is why I don’t try to eat the dough. If you use frozen shellfish, you can put them frozen and get them rare at the time the dough is OK.

Then you open… and it’s full of fragrances.
Just add salt and a few drops of argan oil (fragrant sesame oil otherwise).
Serve with a glass of chilled San Pellegr… I’m kidding. You should have some awamori left.
It’s really fine… to start a meal.

Home-made Awamori spicy tarako for delicious pasta

This is tarako on pasta. One of my prefered pasta dish. You should really try it.

You can buy salt-cured fish roe mentaiko and tarako. Well, names are interchangeable it seems. Actually tarako should be from cod fish, an mentaiko from pollock. Most times, shops sell the latter. And you have 3 sorts : BAD , GOOD and BETTER. In that order :

The bad is fluo red as it contains a preservative product that would be bad for you. But you can get those and mix them with industrial mayonnaise to obtain that abominable tarama spread to lay generously on buttered/margarined slices of industrial bread. Yep, you’ll get those fluo pink canapes that would make you gag in the parties during the 70’s and gave such a bad rap to Greek cuisine, even if I am pretty sure that nobody Greek or of any other human origine was producing our supermarket’s spread. It came from another galaxy.

The good is without the red evil. And the better is colored by healthy hot chili pepper. Well, they are all very salty and meant to preserve the roe. A bit too salty…

And my fishmonger had eggs of codfish. The authentic tarako. So I got some.

Home-made cured tarako

Cod fish roe that I rinsed, salted and kept 2 days in fridge. When you buy it, it stinks. After curing, it smells. After rinsing and seasoning with alcohol, it smells good. Yeah !

This is an Okinawan condiment made of awamori with Okinawan hot chili peppers. Awamori is a sake made of sticky rice.

I rinsed the salted roe and seasoned with the chili-awamori and a little paprika powder. It’s really tasty and much less salty than the commercial version. Of course I can’t store it, but why would I ?

Tarako pasta

Mentaiko spaghetti, tarako spag’… that’s a popular pasta dish in Japan. So easy to prepare.

Put cured mentaiko/tarako on very hot pasta, with butter…and mix. The pasta will cook the fish roe.
Well… unless you lose precious time taking photos for a blog, but 10 seconds in micro-wave saved the dish.

They often top it with ribbons of nori seaweed. Today I prefered negi leeks and dill.

Steamed veggies, including kakinoki-take (persimmon tree mushrooms). Seasoning was simply black rice vinegar.

Cal 410 F9.5g C63.9g P26.1g

Let’s not-cook guaca-corn!


Avocado, fresh corn (“marinated” 15 minutes in natural salt), meyer lemon (juice + zest)…

The guaca-corn can be jazzed up with Okinawan awamori-chili sauce, celery stalks, toasts…

Fava ‘n kinome : fava beans, capers, new shallots, quail eggs… and leaves of kinome.

More about kinome :
Sansho, la saveur boisee de la cuisine japonaise. (The wood flavor in Japanese cuisine.)

Cal 561 F18.8g C87.5g P23.7g