Tarako means cod roe. However, Tarako is also the name of a food made from cod roe in its bag, marinated in dashi and soy sauce. Mentaiko is cod roe marinated in dashi and soy sauce with chili peppers to add spice. But the border between Tarako and Mentaiko is bogue.
Tarako and Mentaiko go very well with rice. They are also delicious on tofu, in pasta, with mayonnaise, or whatever you want to do with them. Since it is a refrigerated product, the places where you can buy it overseas are quite limited. Tarako or Mentaiko is one of the foods that Japanese people abroad miss the most.
There seems to be a culture of eating fish roe in Scandinavia, and even in Finland, salmon roe is eaten raw. Kalles Kaviar, a paste made from cod roe, sold by a Swedish company, is a ray of hope for me, as I cannot afford Mentaiko or Tarako.
The taste is unique. I felt a strong sweetness with a mixture of fish smell. To distinguish the sweetness better, I put ajinomoto to add umami, and for fish smell, I added soy sauce to cover the smell.This is a real quick and easy lunch I like. You can also boil frozen seafood like shrimp, squid or mussels together with the pasta and you’ll have a more filling meal.