Mentaiko Potato Bread feature mentaiko, a Japanese delicacy made from pollack roe that has been soaked in seasoned hot sauce. It’s often used in Japan in pasta, as a breakfast protein, served over rice, as a chicken topper, and stuffed into omelettes. The taste is neither fishy nor overpowering, but it can be spicy and has a unique texture. Japanese bakeries often sell mentaiko bread – usually a butter roll, baked together with mentaiko in various ways.
The Japanese word for bread is “pan”. Japanese bakeries (pan-ya) always carry an interesting variety of breads – some are familiar breads such as white bread (Shoku-pan) or raisin bread (Budo-pan), while others are more adventurous such as bread stuffed with red beans (anpan), curry (karepan) or with starches like noodles (yakisoba-pan).
This recipe starts with a baguette or a butter roll that’s already been baked. It’s important to bake the bread at a low enough temperature to avoid burning the bread but at a hot enough temperature to cook the mentaiko and cheese mixture so the mentaiko hardens. Be sure to preheat the oven and keep the bread away from the heating element when baking. Additionally, I always close the roll up tightly using toothpicks if necessary to make sure the inside stays soft.