The news reached me just as I was becoming fascinated with another child-geared food trend. After researching Kewpie mayonnaise for this experiment, I was haunted by Kewpie's advertisements for tarako pasta sauce. When it comes to advertising, I'm as impressionable as any child.
It is probably a sign of my advancing age that I'm so fascinated by these childish whims. In any case, that is the outline of the backstory of what brought me to try my hand at tarako spaghetti tacos.
Tarako is one of the many kinds of fish roe that greets the casual consumer at Japanese supermarkets. It is the roe of salted walleye pollack, to be specific (who named this fish?!?!??!). Once I was perusing my local market's roe selection, however, I was drawn instead to tobikko. Tobikko is the roe of flying fish, and it sure did look spry!
Lovely little bubbles of fishy saltiness.
I set about making this cream sauce to pair with the tobikko, and drench my spaghetti in. I substituted hakusai for celery, sake for white wine, and shiso for dill, to make it a little more local.
A little less local is my undying devotion to avocados. I decided to crisp some up with batter usually used for making Japanese fried chicken. To the batter, I added some julienned shiso leaf.
These crisped up to look like this:
The sauce started to simmer:
And it was finally ready to be blended up and run through the sieve.
In the meantime, pasta's boiling, and I'm rolling out fresh tortillas with a shochu bottle.
Rotating two pans and one pot of boiling water, watching that my toaster oven avocado don't burn... Childish as the inspiration may have been, this meal's preparation is certainly not for kids.
Okay: Add tobikko to the cream. Sear some scallops, and get prepared to assemble the tacos.
First: the tortilla.
Then, crispy avocado.
Tobikko cream linguine.
With a garnish of sliced cucumber, topped with seared scallops...
キュウリ、ホタテ. . .
And, what the heck: more tobikko!
. . . ともっともっととびっこ！
And then, finally...
やっと、子どものように手でタコスをつかんで . . .
I let my inner child destroy the taco.
I read about it, but had to try it for myself. Happily, I report that my idiosyncratic and fishy version was a success.
Even without tortillas, the pasta with tobikko cream sauce stands up very well on its own.
Ah, the joys of indulging in a little culinary innocence. The cream and carbs may shave years off of my life, but the taste sensations just added that much more wisdom to my tongue.