spaghetti alla bottarga

This is spaghetti alla bottarga made with Taiwanese mullet roe (“wu yu zi”).  I could not get enough of it ever since my friend Daphne first made it for me.  The most common way to serve mullet roe in Taiwan is as an appetizer, in slivers with daikon slices.  Since Chinese meals often amount to feasts with many dishes served one after another (or altogether), this dish seems neglected on the table.  A recent trend of replacing the daikon slices with pear slices may be an effort to dress up the dish, but I still prefer the peppery crunch of the radish to go with the cured saltiness. 

I left the garlic in the olive oil, though some may choose to remove it after it heating it in the oil.  I peeled off the skin of the mullet roe, then brushed the mullet roe with white wine before heating it on both sides in another pan, without overcooking it as that would destroy the roe’s moist chewiness.  Recipes I found online do not include this step and use bottarga as is, so this is just a personal habit to heat it first.  The mullet roe is chopped into pieces and added to the spaghetti mixed with olive oil, with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top. 

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