Japanese Turnips with Mentaiko Sauce

Tender white turnips with a pale pink mentaiko sauce - wow your guests with this visually stunning dish!

Japanese Turnips with Mentaiko Sauce
Photographed by TERUO UKITA

Recipe by
Chizuru Ohara







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 Japanese turnips
  • 1/2 sac spicy mentaiko (remove the membrane) (approx. 20 g)
  • 300 ml dashi
  • [Potato starch thickener]

    • 1 tbsp water
    • 2 tsp potato starch
  • Salt



Cut off the tops of the turnip leaves, leaving about 2 cm intact. Peel and cut the turnips lengthwise in half. Wash, and use a bamboo skewer to remove any dirt in between the leaves.


Use turnips that weigh about 150-180 g excluding the leaves. Turnips can be eaten unpeeled, but for this recipe it's best that they are thinly peeled. The skin can sometimes be quite fibrous, so after peeling the skin, cut off a slice to taste. If it's still tough, peel a little bit more of the skin off. You can save the peels and use them to make pickles.


Place the turnips in a pot with the dashi. Add two pinches of salt and cover. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Leave the lid slightly ajar and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes until the turnips are tender enough to pierce with a bamboo skewer. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Cover with half of the simmering liquid to prevent the turnips from drying.


Turnips cook easily. Remove from heat as soon as they're tender enough to pierce with a bamboo skewer.


Mix the mentaiko with the remaining liquid and place over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and immediately reduce the heat to low. Stir in the [potato starch thickener] and simmer for 30 seconds.


Plate up the turnips and cover with mentaiko sauce.