Tarako – Spicy Cod Roe Spaghetti

Tarako – also known as salted cod roe – spaghetti is a super easy, super fast Japanese recipe that you can use to get lunch or dinner on the table quickly.

tarako spicy cod roe spaghetti

Updated 19 Sept 2010
Originally posted 14 Dec 2006

Sometimes in our busy lives, there isn’t much time between getting home from work and then heading back out to an evening activity. We hate to eat on the run, or even worse stop in at some fast food joint to pick up something we’re going to regret later. Tarako spaghetti is a dish that is so quick to prepare, and is so tasty that it’s consumed in even less time than it took to make it!

Something Smells Fishy

Okay, so I know a lot of you must be thinking, “COD ROE?! You’re talking about putting FISH EGGS on top of pasta?! You’ve got to be kidding me! How can that be tasty?”

Trust me, I’ve been there. I said the exact same thing when Annie first made a plate of tarako spaghetti for herself one night. And then I took a bite of her dish. And then another. And then I wanted to eat the rest of her pasta. It was good! I was hooked.

I’ve enjoyed this dish many a time since then. Last night was one of those times.

Hurry Hurry

Annie picked me up late from work, and we had less than an hour to get home, fix dinner and eat it before we had to go back out to our small group. As soon as we got home, I put a big pot of salted water to boil.

We had two different brands of tarako packages in our cupboard – the S&B brand (on the left) we bought during our recent trip to Singapore, while the Kewpie brand was purchased during our recent trip to Japan. Both packages contain two packets each of tarako sauce and shredded nori (seaweed).

Tarako Packages and Contents

Tarako Cod Roe Spaghetti sauce

Once the pasta noodles had been boiled and drained, I put four helpings into a large bowl and added a couple pats of butter. (Now, you really don’t need to add butter, but I like butter so I put it in.) Toss the noodles to melt the butter and evenly distribute it over all the noodles. Then I portioned the noodles out onto plates and drizzled the tarako sauce over the noodles.

Making Tarako Cod Roe Spaghetti

I tossed the noodles to make sure all the pasta was coated with the sauce. The final step is to sprinkle the shredded seaweed on top of the plate. Then serve, and stand back as the noodles are quickly inhaled with a giant slurping sound!

Tossing Tarako Cod Roe Spaghetti

To me, the flavor is almost like eating crab – salty like the sea, and buttery like, well, butter! I can’t get enough – it’s so delicious, I devour the whole plate in no time at all. And I’m left wanting more, eying the kids’ bowls to see if they’re going to finish their share (they inevitably will).

tarako spicy cod roe spaghetti

What do you think, would you eat salted, spicy fish eggs on pasta? Leave us a comment!

FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #1:

Ready, Set, Blog!

FoodBuzz is holding a food blogger competition called “Project Food Blog” which pits FoodBuzz Featured Publishers against each other in a series of challenges, culminating in one lucky blogger winning $10,000. We’ve looked over the challenges, and we think we have what it takes to win. Even if we don’t win, though, we think these challenges will stretch us and make our blog even better than it is now.

The first challenge is to talk about ourselves. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, because I don’t like to talk about myself on this blog a whole lot, usually preferring to let the pictures and recipes do the talking.

Who Are House of Annie?

Our About page tells you that the House of Annie blog started in October of 2006. However, our desire to share our food passions with others goes much farther back than 2006.  Actually, Annie and I have been interested in food and cooking since we started dating back in 1997, when we used to cook together at her dorm. Old friends like Fosco, Koko, and Serene may know that I’ve been posting pictures of the foods we were eating since as early as 2003, on the alt.binaries.food Usenet newsgroup.  Annie herself was participating in a few online cooking bulletin boards back then as well.

We started the blog to chronicle the dishes Annie was cooking, as well as the places we were eating out at.  Originally, we hardly put up any recipes at all – just general descriptions of how a dish came together. Along the way, we started to put up actual recipes, so that we had something online to refer back to in case we misplaced the original recipe.

As the quality and quantity of other food blogs grew, we got inspired – to write better, to take better pictures, and to grow our audience. To work harder and to take the blog to the next level. The House of Annie was no longer just for us.

The House of Annie is for YOU our dear readers.

The House of Annie is also 4 U: four “U” words which describe who we are:

  • Unique – our background as Asian (Annie) and Hawaiian (Nate) gives us an intimate familiarity with all the ingredients and dishes of the East and the Pacific Islands, while our time in California gave us access to the best of the West. (Today’s tarako spaghetti recipe is an example of the kind of East-West dishes we enjoy eating)
  • Useful – we want to help our readers to cook our recipes and experience the same joy that we have when making and eating our dishes. To that end, we give detailed instructions and cooking tips, along with step-by-step pictures and even video showing how it was done. (Example: today’s tarako spaghetti recipe shows you what the packaging looks like, and how to build the dish.)
  • Unpretentious – We’ll tell you when something didn’t come out quite right, or when some restaurant had a disappointing dish. We’ll talk about our shortcomings and mistakes, so we can all learn to do better.
  • Uplifting – . We try to remain positive in our posts, which is why we always sign off with

Cheers and Aloha, Annie and Nate

Edit: voting ends September 23. Please go now to http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/391 and vote for us!

73 Comments Post a Comment
  1. doggybloggy says:

    you got my vote and my tweet – good luck

  2. Mimi (Gingersnaps) says:

    Hey! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. Sophia’s shout-out led me to yours too!

    WOW, yummy! I’m not a noodle person and even I want to slurp this down! Roe is so good but I almost never see it in anything. And seaweed ups the yum factor of anything.

    • Nate says:


      pleased to meet you, thanks to Sophia. I am impressed by your foodie evolution – I don’t think I would attempt eating blood sausage!

  3. Just submitted my vote for you. Good luck!

  4. Thanks so much for the vote! Just returned the favor. Cheers! Love the noodles, yumyum :)

  5. Shelly Borrell (Nibbles of Tidbits) says:

    You guys got my vote already too!!! This is fun — Good luck :)

  6. Daily Spud says:

    Well I’d be adding butter to the noodles too! Best of luck to you in PFB, I’ve left a vote for you :)

  7. This definitely sounds like something I would eat! Looks yummy and a great quick meal.

  8. Simona says:

    Very enticing plate. You’ve got my vote!

  9. Azusa says:

    I love mentaiko pasta! This is seriously one of my favs. Thanks for your vote! Sending mine your way as well. Good luck to you!

  10. This Tarako sauce sounds really interesting but then again I enjoy all things Japanese. I also recently visited in June and the food pictures are on my blog.

    All the best for PFB! You have my vote :)

    BTW, I have migrated to WordPress. Check it out when you have the time. Thanks for your advice. With help, I was able to move within 3 days and it went pretty smoothly.

  11. This blog seems so accessible, I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next! I love seeing what happens when East meets West. You’ve got our vote, best of luck in the competition.

    Lick My Spoon

    • Nate says:

      Steph –

      thanks for your comment, and your vote!

      Part of “being Useful” as a food blog is being user-friendly, so that people have an easy time to browse our recipes. That’s something I strive for and gave a lot of thought to – my passion, if you will.

  12. Brian @ howtobaker says:

    Great looking dish! Thanks for sharing an insight on the cook within. You got my vote.

  13. Jean says:

    You bet I would add fish roe to my spaghetti! Except that I was only familiar with the Italian version, adding bottarga. In fact, I was going to use it as my theme for my own PFB contest entry. Very nice to have found your blog. Much luck to you on the contest. You got my vote. :-)

    • Nate says:


      thanks for the vote, and thanks for letting me know about bottarga. The preparation of the tuna fish roe is different – the Italians dry the roe sac until it’s hard. I think I recall seeing Andrew Zimmern eat some on his Madrid episode.

  14. girlichef says:

    Love that you looked back and incorporated this into your entry!! Wonderful, loved learning more about you guys! I voted for ya….good luck! :)

  15. Azusa says:

    I love mentaiko pasta! Thanks for your vote—sent mine your way as well. Good luck!

  16. Camille says:

    What an interesting twist on a pasta dish! I like your perspective on cooking and sharing. Best of luck in Project Food Blog!

  17. Lindsay says:

    Yum! I just gave you a vote! You can check out my entry here: http://tinyurl.com/2ec2hlq Thanks and Good Luck!

  18. dak0 says:

    Wow, that’s it? I like fast recipes :).
    But in my part of the World finding such ingredients will be difficult.
    The photos are great.
    Thanks for sharing.

  19. Pogogi says:

    So convenient these packets! We just did an article on Japanese pasta but yours has better instructions.

    I found this page through a search…great blog will explore your pages.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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