Simmered Japanese Turnips with Mentaiko Sauce

Wow your guests with this visually stunning dish of tender white turnips and pale pink mentaiko sauce.

Simmered 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 leaves, leaving about 2 cm intact. Peel and cut 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 to thinly peel them. The skin can sometimes be quite fibrous, so after peeling thinly, cut off a slice to taste. If it's rather tough, it needs slightly more peeling. Use the peel to make sweet pickles.


Place the turnips in a pot and cover with 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 the simmering liquid to prevent 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.