Mar 30, 2022

Spaghettini con la Bottarga (To Be Exact, Asian Karasumi)

Let it be bottarga or karasumi, these two are basically western and Asian variations of salted and cured fish roe, and mullet roe is the most common one. The cooking method is basically the same and doesn't matter if you are using bottarga or karasumi. Even the waxed version, simply remove the wax and prep the fish roe as this recipe instructs.

Spaghettini con la bottarga/Asian karasumi -

Spaghettini con la bottarga/karasumi

Ingredients (about 2 to 3 portions)?

  • 250 grams spaghettini
  • 250 grams colorful cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • half piece bottarga/karasumi 
  • Some Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Small bundle flat leaf parsley


If you're using waxed bottarga, remove the wax first. Wipe some Chinese rice cooking wine, or dry white wine on both sides of the cured fish roe.

Bottarga/Asian karasumi

Use a non-stick pan, drizzle about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and transfer bottarga/karasumi over. Note that the oil is still cold when we put in the fish roe. Turn to medium heat and slowly searing the fish roe till slightly darkened. Flip and do the same. Once ready, transfer the fish roe to a plate and set aside to cool down. Save the remaining oil, we'll continue to cook the aromatics shortly. 

Seared bottarga/karasumi

Once bottarga/karasumi is cool enough to handle by hand, you can either remove the thin coat if preferred, but not necessarily since we're going to grate it. I found the crunchy coating actually provide more flavor to the pasta.

Grate the seared fish roe till you get about 3/4 cup of it. If there are some leftover bottarga/karasumi, well, bring out the wine and enjoy some while cooking it (drink responsibly).

Grated bottarga/karasumi

Bring a big pot of water to a boil, generously salt the water. Cook the pasta till almost al dente. Towards the end, save some pasta water just in case we need to dilute the sauce later on. Once the pasta is ready, drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, let's continue to work on other ingredients. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley. Halve the cherry tomatoes.

Still using the same non-stick pan used in searing fish roe. Any remaining oil now become the essence of the pasta. Add in garlic along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Sear till aromatic but not burnt.

Transfer halved cherry tomatoes over and cook till softened and the juice has been released. Usually the tomato juice should be enough, but if somehow the entire mixture appears too dry, add some pasta water to dilute it just a wee bit.

Searing colorful cherry tomatoes

Mix in drained pasta along with grated bottarga/karasumi. Taste and adjust if needed.

Making pasta with bottarga/karasumi

Plate and garnish with chopped parsley. 

Spaghettini con la bottarga/karasumi

Not going to lie, this spaghettini recipe was really delicious, especially if you love that condensed savory touch from the bottarga to begin with. Grated bottarga overtook the role of salt, while providing even more depth of flavors to the pasta. 

Spaghettini con la bottarga/karasumi

The only regret is that I should have made more. Basically half piece of the fish roe can make enough pasta for two people. So I guess next time I'll just use up using the entire piece of bottarga/karasumi for a party of four to five. Or I can finish these portions within couple days, all for myself.

Other pasta recipes:

No comments:

Post a Comment