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A Completely Unique Mentaiko-Making Experience In Fukuoka!

A Completely Unique Mentaiko-Making Experience In Fukuoka!

Fukuoka 2018.01.02

At Hakuhaku, the Hakata Food and Culture Museum, you can try making your own mentaiko! Choose your favorite flavors to create a one-of-a-kind mentaiko.

Translated by Lester Somera

Written by Norihisa Hasegawa

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Hakuhaku is a museum where you can savor the food and culture of Hakata. We explained the museum facilities in the previous article, so this time, let’s look at something you should definitely try at Hakuhaku: the make-your-own-mentaiko corner.

Original Mentaiko-Making


Photos provided by: Hakata Food and Culture Museum Hakuhaku
Hakuhaku has a special make-your-own-mentaiko corner, and it costs 1500 yen per person if you want to try it. You can season three pieces (roughly 100 grams) to your liking, and take them home. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes. While you can make a reservation on the day, it will go more smoothly if you make an advance reservation on the Hakuhaku homepage. Reservations close three days before at 17:00, and they can accept groups of up to 20. Larger groups require a group reservation. You can also join on the day of the event if there is room, so check with the staff.

Explore the Museum Before Making Mentaiko


Reserve a time slot for your mentaiko-making, then check out the museum and manufacturing area while you wait. There will be a PA announcement when it is time for mentaiko-making, so you can relax and enjoy walking around.

Let’s Try Mentaiko-Making for Real


If you made your reservation beforehand, the museum will have set up a table for your group with all of the necessary items. You don’t need to prepare anything yourself.


Photos provided by: Hakata Food and Culture Museum Hakuhaku
Before the mentaiko-making, you will hear an explanation about what goes into mentaiko, and how to make it. The lecture is targeted toward first-time mentaiko eaters and people who don’t know much about it. After the lecture, let’s start the mentaiko-making!

1. Put the Cod Roe in a Bag


First, take all hygiene precautions, such as washing your hands. After you’re ready, before you put the cod roe in the bag, place it on your palm to take a good look at it and feel its soft texture.

2. Adjust the Flavors and Spice to Your Liking


Next, add chili pepper, sesame, black pepper and other seasonings to the bag. You can taste-test the standard level of spice beforehand, so use that as a basis while you adjust your own mentaiko. You can give it a real sesame punch, among other things. This is a very important step, so work carefully!

3. Add the Seasoning Liquid


After deciding how spicy you want your mentaiko, marinate it in the seasoning liquid, which is made of a fusion of various spices.


This seasoning liquid is not just spicy, but also packs umami flavor. Even after removing the mentaiko from the bag, the liquid can be used to flavor foods like mentaiko pasta and mentaiko chicken karaage (fried chicken), so give them a try!

4. Pack Up the Finished Product


After marinating the mentaiko in the seasoning liquid, put it in a container, taking care not to spill any of the liquid. Write your name, the date, and the ingredients list on the lid.

5. Have the Patience to Let the Flavors Sink In


You’ll want to eat your mentaiko right away, but you should wait for up to two days so that the flavors meld together. Store it in your home or hotel fridge.

Make Your Own Delicious Hakata Treat!


Mentaiko has increased its international profile in recent years. In March 2014, Tararanya, a mentaiko restaurant, opened in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district. Hakuhaku sells products and seasonings from Tararanya, as well. If you come to Fukuoka, why not try making some mentaiko and picking up some Tararanya products to take home as souvenirs?


Hakata Food and Culture Museum
Address: Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Higashi, Sharyo 2-14-28
Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (reception closes at 16:30)
Closed: Every Tuesday (or the following day, if Tuesday is a public holiday), New Year’s break
Wi-Fi: Yes
Credit cards: Only accepted at souvenir shop
Other Languages: English, Korean (depends on staff schedules)
Nearest Station: JR Yoshizuka Station
Access: 13 minutes from Yoshizuka Station
Admission: 300 yen for entry, 1500 yen to make mentaiko
Phone: 092-621-8989
Website: Hakata Food and Culture Museum

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