Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cooking Lab - Mentai Aglio Olio (Spicy Cod Roe) Fettuccine w Oysters & Mango (明太子味)

Mentaiko pasta is unbelievably popular in Japan. The fusion of cod roe (preserved with salt, sake, kombu and chili) and Italian pasta is just amazing!

Tonight I have combined the two popular pasta sauces - Mentaiko flavor from Japan and Aglio Olio from Italy. (Aglio is garlic and olio is olive) and see what creation I've come up with!

(c) GMV - Got My Vote!" (*^o^*)

Pretty spectacular huh? The flavor will be 10 times better if I actually use fresh mentaiko! (Save that for the next entry another time! Stay tuned~)
Tonight,  I am pressed for time, so using the readily available mentai (明太) pasta sauce  (-_^)*
- SAN REMO Fresh Pasta - Fettuccine $2.50
- Mentaiko Pasta Sauce 140g $4.99
- Fresh Shucked Pacific Oysters x 6
- Fresh Sashimi Tuna Slices x 8
- Dried Scallop x 1
- Parsley finely chopped.
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes x 6
- Garlic 1 clove sliced horizontally 
- Olive oil 
- Wild Rocket
- Fresh Mango - finely cubed
- Thinly shaved Parmesan Cheese
- Lemon wedge to serve 
1.Place the dried scallop in water and let it expand. Break into fine slices and drain.
2. Shallow pan fry the Sashimi slices. (Use a flame blowtorch if you have one as it will create better visual effect and texture!)
3. In the same frypan, add some olive oil and fried the scallop slices until brown and crispy. Set aside.
3. While the empty oiled pan is still hot, add the garlic slices and cook then until fragrant. 
4. Cook the Fettuccine al dente according to the pasta packet instruction.
5. Drain the pasta from the salted boiling water. Add some pepper.
6. Pour the Mentaiko Pasta Sauce over the warm Fettuccine. Mix quickly.
7. Return the mixed fettuccine to the garlic-infused oil. Toss and coat the pasta well in the garlic oil in very low heat.
8. Finally add the chopped parsley to the pasta.
9. Garnish with roasted tomatoes and wild rocket.
The base of Mentaiko Aglio Olio 
fettuccine is done! 
Ready to be glam up!
Variation 1:
Ever since after the private party last week, I've found Fresh Oysters goes really well with Mangos! Tonight I am going to add that delicate fine taste to the dish!

a) A dozen of large plump freshly shucked Pacific Oyster drizzled in Tetsuya's Oyster Vinaigrette. (I ate 6 natural Oysters w lemon juice while waiting - hey there got to be some perks for being the chef!)

**Only start plating up 5 minutes before serving to ensure the freshness of the seafood.**

b) Place 3 large oysters on top and 4 grilled tuna slices under. Scatter the diced mango cubes all over. 

c) Top it with the crisp thin scallop threads to finish it off!
Doesn't this look like a smashing Springtime Dish? Colorful, vibrant and refreshing!
Variation 2:
Upon arrival, one of my friends informed me that she does not like the slimy texture of the Oysters. So a little adjustment need to be made!

a) Roughly chopped the rest of the wild Rocket and fold it well into the base mentai pasta.

b) Add some fine thinly shaved Parmesan cheese and some cracked black pepper on top.

c) Lastly add the fried dried-scallop threads on top to garish.

d) Serve with a wedge of lemon.
The beautiful aromatic garlic oil did come through and the briny taste of the Mentaiko was not too overpowering.
All in all, the Mentai Aglio Olio fettuccine was very well-received especially with a bottle of white wine my friends brought over. 
The dish was pretty sensational. The mangoes and the Oysters complemented the taste really well. Perhaps leaving the tuna slices to be a bit excessive. The fried dry-scallop threads add a crunchy texture to the dish. Something I well repeat again!