Creamy Salmon Mentaiko Dip

This dip is a creamy and delicious seafood appetizer that can be enjoyed with vegetable sticks, crackers, chips, or even used to stuff mushrooms and bake.  A very simple dip, it combines cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in equal parts which is all flavored with shiso leaves, salmon flakes and mentaiko.

 

This dip is a creamy and delicious seafood appetizer that can be enjoyed with vegetable sticks, crackers, chips, or even used to stuff mushrooms and bake.  A very simple dip, it combines cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in equal parts which is all flavored with shiso leaves, salmon flakes and mentaiko.

Mentaiko, also known as tarako, is Alaska pollock roe which is usually sold in the egg sac and soaked in a spicy brine.  It is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and is often served with rice as a breakfast accompaniment.  But mentaiko can also be used in cooking – it is sometimes used in omelettes, stuffed in breads, or eaten on its own.  Mentaiko comes in two basic types – mild (maroyaka or karakunai) and spicy (karashi).  I prefer the karashi type for dips.  If you buy mentaiko it often comes  in the sac which is clear and very thin.  The sac is edible and will break up when you use it, or you can choose to squeeze the roe out.

Salmon flakes can be bought in jars at any Asian grocery.  If you prefer, fresh salmon can be used, but make sure all the bones are removed and the salmon is chopped finely into flakes.

The shiso adds a nice refreshing flavor to the dip and more can be added to taste.  You can also use other herbs to flavor this dip such as chives, mitsuba (Japanese Parsley), or tarragon.

Creamy Salmon Mentaiko Dip

This creamy and delicious dip features salmon and mentaiko (Alaska Pollock Roe) as well as refreshing shiso leaves.  You can busy mentaiko at Asian or Russian grocery stores – it is eaten in Japan, Korea, and Russia.  After mixing the dip, be sure to refrigerate it to allow it to harden.

You can feel free to adjust the amount of salmon or mentaiko to suit your own taste – I usually go with a 50/50 ratio as in this recipe, but you can double the salmon if you want more fish in the dip.  If you don’t use prepackaged salmon flakes, then broil the salmon and ensure it is cooked through prior to adding into the dip.

PREP COOKING YIELD
1 hour Makes about 1 3/4 cups of dip
PREP 1 hour
COOKING
YIELD Makes about 1 3/4 cups of dip

Ingredients:

  • 3/8 cup cream cheese (85g)
  • 3/8 cup sour cream (85g)
  • 3/8 cup mayonnaise (85g)
  • 3/8 cup mentaiko (90g)
  • 3/8 cup salmon flakes (90g)
  • 3 Shiso leaves, finely chopped

Instructions:

  • Put all ingredients in a bowl.

  • Mix well with a spoon until creamy and there are no lumps.

  • Refrigerate for one hour to stiffen. Serve with raw vegetable sticks, crackers or potato chips.

Notes:

  • Mentaiko and salmon flakes both keep well when refrigerated.  This dip can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • If you like your dip hot, try mixing in 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (or panko) and baking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes,
  • You can use this dip to stuff tomatoes or mushrooms>

 

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