Learn how to Use Tarako and Mentaiko in Pasta, Potatoes and Cream Cheese

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For breakfast, Kachan would place the gentle, pale pink sacs over sizzling coals glowing in a small countertop binchotan grill. She’d flip them, every sac in regards to the measurement of a cocktail wiener, till the sides have been charred and smoky, and the sacs agency sufficient that they may very well be crumbled over heat rice. As we ate, we’d tear nori sheets into small bits, sprinkle them on prime and stir the combination with chopsticks.

At the very least, that’s how I bear in mind it. My mom says Kachan most likely cooked the tarako in a small-handled fish basket held immediately over the fuel flame of the kitchen burner. My older sister, Aya, insists that she did it in a small frying pan, the egg sac swelling till it burst, sending tiny eggs skittering throughout the recent metallic. I additionally distinctly bear in mind her broiling tarako in the identical tabletop toaster oven the place she toasted shokupan.

My grandmother handed away years in the past, so we will’t test in together with her. However over time, I’ve confirmed that all of those methods works simply effective for tarako destined for the breakfast rice bowl (though the smokiness of charcoal can’t be beat should you can handle it). A single sac of frozen tarako is sufficient to taste not less than 4 breakfast-size bowls of rice, however I sometimes purchase a number of additional to maintain within the freezer.

Since tarako, and its spicier sibling mentaiko, are utilized in each Korean and Japanese cuisines, the proliferation of Korean grocery store chains like H Mart has made them simpler than ever to seek out. (In actual fact, mentaiko is a cognate of the Korean phrase for Alaskan pollock, or myeongnan, mixed with the Japanese phrase for little one, ko.) I sometimes get mine in trays close to the frozen meals division of Japanese or Korean supermarkets, and it retains for a number of months. Defrosting it’s comparatively fast — in a single day within the fridge or an hour or two on a sheet tray on the counter — or you possibly can hold it within the fridge for not less than every week or two. (Its saltiness will increase its shelf life.)

Cooking it for breakfast is a snap. I most incessantly broil the egg sacs on a small sheet tray in my toaster oven or in a skillet on the range till cooked by, whereas I microwave some leftover rice. Then, I crumble them over the rice, serving furikake or nori sheets on the aspect. It’s additionally great uncooked, dolloped into the middle of onigiri (seasoned rice balls).

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