An easy Korean fusion pasta made with preserved cod roe lightly tossed in good olive oil with crispy garlic bits. This is a super easy and quick recipe that can come together in no-time on a weeknight but also looks nice enough for a at-home date night. Jazz it up with a bit of bacon or keep it simple with just the basic ingredients.
I don’t like to stock up on ingredients. It gives me a bit of stress when I feel like I need to quickly use them up before they go bad. But sometimes they do save me. Like the time I hadn’t made rice yet, was hungry and found some frozen cod roe in our freezer.
Myeongran jeot pasta sky-rocketed in trendy popularity a few years ago and you’ll find a lot of YouTube videos highlighting it. Lee Sang Soon also made it on Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast for IU a few years ago (Korean celebrities). It was a hit of course! He just whipped it together easily without problem, making him a popular husband icon on TV too.
What is Myeongran Jeot?
Myeongran is also known as cod roe or pollack roe. It’s also very popular in Japan, mentaiko.
Jeot in Korean refers to salted preserved foods. So myeongran jeot is salted and preserved cod roe. Myeonran originates from the word myeongtae which is Alaska pollack in Korean. Myeongran jeot has become a trendy hip ingredient to add into fusion foods or even simple foods like Korean omelet. Or well, more like 2 years ago it
The simplicity of the ingredients in this pasta dish requires good quality olive oil because it’s the thing that holds all the flavors together. We have an amazing olive oil from Italy and you could really taste it blend well with the salty flavor of cod roe. The dish is delicious as-is but even more so with the bacon bits to add an extra texture of crunch. Make this if you want to become popular like Lee Sang Soon, Hyori’s wife.
Cod Roe Pasta (Myeongran Jeot Pasta)
- 1 serving (100 g ) spaghetti (linguine)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 4 dried red peppers
- 1 + ½ salted cod roe about 2 ½ Tbsp, Myeongran Jeot 명란젓
- 2 Tbsp white wine
- 2 sliced bacon *optional
- 1 green onion chopped
- 1 individual sheet salted seaweed gim, sliced
- Parmesan cheese
- Cook noodles according to package instructions, minus 1-2 minutes. The pasta should be a bit more al dente than usual as it’ll cook again for a bit in the pan. Drain while reserving about 1 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
- Prep the cod roe. Slice down long-way, spread open and squeeze/scrape out the inside roe.
- Toss out the thin membrane skin.
- Optional: If using, cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside. You don’t want to mix the bacon early into the pasta, it will overpower all of the flavor.
- On medium heat, pre-heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, and then add in the dried red peppers. Continue to stir-fry until the garlic is lightly browned.
- Add in ⅔ of the cod roe with 2 Tbsp of white wine and lightly stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
- Toss in the al dente noodles with ½ cup of pasta water. Lightly toss and cook until the noodles are the right texture and the water has reduced. Mix in the remaining cod roe. Take off the heat.
- Mix in last 1 Tbsp olive oil. If using, toss in the bacon. Top with chopped green onion, slices of gim and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
It’s really difficult to find salted cod roe where I live in Europe, so I often substitute it with Kalles Kaviar paste (from Ikea). It’s so much cheaper than the frozen ones at Asian markets too. It’s slightly smokier and sweeter but still nice with pasta. Wondering if you have tried it and how would you have used it in Korean-style dishes?
Jennifer | Chopsticks and Flour says
Hi hiraku, Sorry for the late response! i haven’t tried the kalles kavier paste before. Sounds interesting though!