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Mentaiko takoyaki: the delicious salted fish recipe

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If you’re in the mood for a stronger flavor than that of octopus, I’d suggest trying the mentaiko takoyaki.

It’s one of those takoyaki flavor variations you just can’t get out of your head.

But, it’s an acquired taste, let’s make some!

Mentaiko Takoyaki
Mentaiko Takoyaki without octopus

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Takoyaki without octopus recipe: Mentaiko Takoyaki

Joost Nusselder
If you don't like the idea of eating octopus in a ball but don't mind fish, the mentaiko or salted pollock roe is also a very good option.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people


  • 2 oz takoyaki batter 
  • 6 oz water
  • ½ egg
  • 1 oz mentaiko (salted pollock roe)
  • Takoyaki sauce, to serve
  • Bonito flakes, to serve
  • Sliced spring onion, to serve
  • Japanese mayonnaise, to serve


  • Add the takoyaki batter mix, water, and egg to a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. 
  • Pre-heat the takoyaki pan over a medium heat and brush with vegetable oil to ensure all the holes and surfaces are generously coated. 
  • When the pan starts to smoke, carefully pour the batter into each hole. Add the mentaiko and pour over more batter until it slightly overflows the holes. 
  • Allow to cook for four minutes or until the edges turn slightly brown. Then use a skewer or a chopstick to break the batter around the edges and allow any uncooked batter to flow out. Push the extra batter back into the holes to form the ball and turn each ball 90 degrees. Allow it to cook for a further 4 minutes until the ball is evenly brown in color. 
  • Remove the mentaiko takoyaki from the pan and place them on a platter. Sprinkle with bonito flakes and sliced spring onion and serve with Japanese mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce. 
  • Serve immediately.
Keyword mentaiko, pollock, Takoyaki
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What flavor does mentaiko add?

Mentaiko is a popular ingredient in many Japanese dishes. It is made from cod roe that has been salted and cured, and then flavored with chili peppers. The result is a slightly spicy, salty, and fishy flavor that goes well with many different types of food. Mentaiko can be used as a condiment, added to rice or noodles, or even eaten on its own as a snack.

Can you substitute mentaiko?

If you can’t find mentaiko, or if you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, there are a few substitutes you can try. Tobiko is a type of flying fish roe that has a similar flavor and texture to mentaiko. Another option is karasumi, which is made from dried mullet roe. Both of these substitutes can be found in most Asian markets.

Also read: these are the best takoyaki pans and makers reviewed

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.