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just received a surprise gift of 160 grams of uni (sea urchin roe) cleaned, on ice, from Calif. Is there any way I can prepare it besides just eating it as sashimi? Can it be seared,, etc. like foie gras?
Wow these all sound like great and imaginative combinations! I've heard of the uni cream sauce before, but the others are all new to me.
I did once come across a recipe in a "gurume" (gourmet) manga for an uni omelette. (Was it in "Oishinbo", perhaps?) If I recall correctly there was actually no egg in it but rather just purely uni, cooked in a tamago-yaki pan. The uni was prepped somehow before it was cooked, perhaps whisked or mashed in a suribachi prior to cooking - I can't remember the details...
One day at my regular sushi bar I was feeling a bit playful and challenged the sushi chef to come up with a dessert featuring uni. What he ended up making was an uni and matcha (green tea) ice-cream gunkanmaki (battleship-style) nigiri. He hand-molded a scoop of the matcha ice-cream into a nigiri, and then surrounded it with a strip of nori and topped each with a pair of uni. The experience of the different textures, temperatures and tastes were fantastic!
I buy an uni spaghetti sauce from Nijiya, a Japanese market to get my uni 'fix' when I cannot get it fresh.
As gini recommended - please try it in a cream sauce over noodles. Be sure to garnish with shredded nori sea laver.
I have also seen it tempura fried, which is a technique I believe sushi restaurants employ for lower grade and or uni losing freshness.
You may want to check out the cuisine of Chile, as they have several dishes utilizing this nectar of the gods.
I've had seared sea urchin at sushi bars - they sear it with a blow torch-like thing. Pretty good.
Here is a recipe for uni spaghetti. Haven't tried the recipe yet, but it sounds good - forgot where I got the recipe from:
Spaghetti with sea urchins and clams
Total time: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup white wine
2 pounds small clams in shell (Manila type)
2 (2-ounce) trays sea urchins
Italian parsley, leaves only, left whole
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Taste a bit of sea urchin. If it seems bitter, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is soft but not yet golden, 2 to 3 minutes. When the garlic has softened, add the white wine to the skillet and raise the heat to high. Cook until the wine has reduced by about half, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the clams and 1 1/2 trays of sea urchins, reserving the best for garnish. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the clams are all open, about 5 minutes.
3. While the sauce is cooking, add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook until it is just short of al dente, soft but with a thin thread of crunch in the center, about 7 minutes.
4. When the clams have opened, remove the skillet from the heat and stir to break up as much of the sea urchins as possible. They should blend into the sauce.
5. When the spaghetti is done, drain it, reserving one-half cup of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti and the reserved cooking water to the sauce and place it over high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
6. Divide among 6 heated pasta bowls and garnish with the reserved sea urchin and several leaves of parsley. Serve immediately.
Each serving: 577 calories; 45 grams protein; 64 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 256 mg. cholesterol; 258 mg. sodium.
This was kind of bland for me, maybe the pepper flakes would've made a difference but, alas, I didn't have any. I did, however, mixed in some of the wasabi that came with the uni and it's not too bad. Maybe I'll try another batch with lemon juice =d
And after eating this, I realized that I really do prefer my uni raw.
uni custard, chawan mushi with uni still intact, some sort of western fusion chawan mushi still intact.
here's a good lookin recipe. yummmms:
also check out this really interesting thai uni salad from the island of koh samui. (scroll down):
Chef Ed Higgins, currently at Insieme in Manhattan, made a killer uni pasta in Tokyo at the Four Seasons Marunouchi. I don't have the recipe here but have recreated it at home a few times.
Saute some garlic and onions in olive oil. Add white wine (or sake) to deglaze the pan. Incorporate some tomato paste and at the last minute add the uni. Toss over angel hair pasta.