Creamy Mentaiko Udon

A few weekends ago, I finally ate at Udon Mugizo in San Francisco and tried their creamy mentai udon and omg, I was mindblown by how good it was!! I immediately knew I had to try to recreate and in all humility.. I think I nailed it.

Mentaiko is cod roe and can be found in Japanese grocery stores in either the frozen section or in the fridge. They’re usually sold still in the sacs and require you to cut them open and scrape the roe out. In Japanese, ‘ko’ means ‘child’, and ‘mentai’ refers to alaskan pollock (which is actually a cod). So mentaiko = child of cod = cod roe!

I used:

  • 1 pack frozen udon
  • 1 mentaiko sac (~ 1 tbsp mentaiko)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp kewpie 
  • 1 tsp shiro dashi 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce 
  • splash of rice vinegar 
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • garnish: daikon sprouts, scallions, nori, parmesan, togarashi 

To make:

  • Cook udon noodles per package instructions, rinse off with cool water and drain
  • Remove roe from the sac by slicing the sac and then scraping it out. I found it works best when you lay it on a board and then scrape with a metal spoon or back of a knife
  • In a pot add in your heavy cream, soy sauce, dashi, kewpie, rice vinegar
  • Heat up pot over medium heat, mix, and stir until heated and gently simmering ~2-3 minutes
  • Turn off heat and mix in the mentaiko
  • Toss in cooked udon
  • Top with butter and garnishes, mix until butter melts throughout, and be delighted!!