Easy Mentaiyaki Prawns, Aubergines (Eggplant) and Okra

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My brother bought Mentaiko, which is cured spicy pollock roe, from Japan and as you can see from above, it comes in the sacs and there are 2 versions – the ‘colourless’ one and the super orange type. The one above is the ‘colourless’ version. As such, it does not give a vibrant pink when mixed with mayonnaise and is very mildly pink when removed from its sac.

One popular method of cooking with mentaiko is to mix it with mayonnaise and grill it with seafood and vegetables. For this instance, I grilled prawns, aubergines (aka brinjal and eggplant) and okra (aka lady fingers). The recipe feeds 4 pax as part of a 4 course meal.

15 large prawns, halved lengthwise
12 large okra, halved
3 small aubergines, halved
2 mentaiko sacs
3 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise (I use Kewpie brand)
1/2 tbsp miso paste

1. Scrape the roe out from the sacs with a spoon or a butter knife into a small bowl. Discard the membrane. Combine with mayonnaise and stir. If it’s too lumpy to your liking, add more mayonnaise.

Mentaiko Mayonnaise

2. Heat up a saucepan of water and add in the miso paste. When the water is boiling, add in the okra and cook them until soft. Take them out and cool.

3. Cook the aubergines in the miso soup until it is soft enough for your fork to poke through but not mushy.

4. Pre-heat your oven to 175 deg C. Lay your prawns and vegetables on a baking tray. Coat the prawns and vegetables with the mentaiko mayonnaise. You don’t need to be even with the mayonnaise mixture because you do want some parts to brown and give it a little bit more interesting textures and flavours.

5. Bake the prawns and vegetables for 5-7 minutes. Best is to look at the prawns. They must turn pink and the mentaiko mayonnaise turns slightly brown.

As you can see, I did not use foil to line my tray because I recently bought a silicon baking sheet which is one of the best baking tools ever! It cleans up really well but the best part is that it spreads the cooking temperature evenly. Not sure about you but whenever I bake stuff in my oven, one side normally browns more than the other. This was not the case for my prawns and okra thanks to this baking sheet.

Do note that everything will shrink after cooking so if this going to make up a major portion of your meal, do increase the number of prawns/vegetables or cook the same amount as I’ve stated but serve it for fewer people.

Alternatively, you can switch the prawns to scallops and I found an easy recipe for that here.

Other mentaiko recipes:

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