When I am in the mood for a treat, I will add mentaiko or marinated pollock roe to my shopping basket. Besides making a quick & super-indulgent mentaiko pasta with it, my other favourite use is to bake half-shelled scallops in mentaiko sauce, aka Hotate Meitaiyaki.
If serving scallops in half shells is beautiful, there must be a word beyond beautiful for scallops baked with mentaiko sauce – I simply adore the pastel orange hue when baked. I love to order this dish at Japanese restaurants, but they are often pricey and stingy with the fish roe. So I am really happy that I can make this at home easily – only taking about 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake in the oven.
Using colorless mentaiko (明太子) will result in a pale appearance while using the coloured type (pictured above) will result in a gorgeous pastel orange sauce. Be sure to buy the right type of mentaiko accordingly to your preference. This is how I scrap out the roe the back of a small knife or a small spoon after making a slit on the membrane.