12th December is Mentaiko Day - celebrate it with mentaiko snacks and Yuzu Umeshu!

06 Dec 2018

Mentaiko Day origins

December 12th is known as Mentaiko Day in Japan. It celebrates the origins of Mentaiko when it what first brought to Shimonoseki port from Korea.

Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi prefecture is known as the birthplace Mentaiko. It was here that mentaiko was transferred from Korea to Japan for the first time. Maeda Marine Company which has been spreading mentaiko culture nationwide since then; and now mentaiko has become a specialty of Shimonoseki city. The date originated in December 12, 1914 (Taisho era 3rd year) when the name "Mentaiko" first appeared in the Kanmon Daily Newspaper in Japan.

Mentaiko, originates in Korea and is originally the Korean myeongnan-jeot,is commonly eaten in Japan. It is made in a variety of flavors and colors and is available at airports and main train stations. It is usually eaten with onigiri, but is also enjoyed by itself with sake. A common variety is spicy mentaiko. Milder version is called tarako.

Mentaiko is served in several ways: plain (usually for breakfast), as a filling for onigiri, and as a pasta sauce (usually with nori). Recently in Japan, mentaiko pasta has become very common and popular. Mentaiko is mixed with butter or mayonnaise and used as a sauce for spaghetti. Thin strips of Nori are often sprinkled on top. Mentaiko flavored snacks are also very popular, you will find them in any supermarket in Japan.

Traditionally, mentaiko was dyed bright red, but recent concerns about the safety of food coloring have all but eliminated that custom.


Recommended pairing

Yuzu umeshu can go well with many kinds of foods depending on how you drink it. When drinking yuzu umeshu straight, the sweet and sour taste is highly concentrated, so it is best paired with food that has a strong flavor. Salty and spicy foods are an especially great combination with yuzu umeshu when enjoyed straight.

Since mentaiko has rich and deeply savory taste, therefore yuzu umeshu is the perfect combination!

Try these mentaiko flavored snacks to enjoy while sipping on Nakano BC Yuzu Umeshu.

You will need:

Minari Mentaiko furikake

Processed cream cheese wrapped in foil

Umaibou Mentai Aji


Just put the furikake on cream cheese and enjoy it as a snack with Yuzu Umeshu.

Umaibo is small, puffed, cylindrical corn snack from Japan.  Its consistency is similar to Cheetos. Mentaiko flavor umaibo is also a great match to Yuzu Umeshu.

We wish you a tasty Mentaiko Day!




06280427_53ae4415a5c5a   10141426_5800505fc2f69