Red sea urchins - the largest sea urchin in the world and are found only along the rocky sub-tidal Pacific shores of North America. The bright red or burgundy animals graze on kelp and many other available organic materials. They are harvested for their soft tissues known as "uni", a highly valued seafood delicacy. Uni is a signature sashimi item in Japanese cuisine but is also used as a flavour enhancer in soups, custards and seafood dishes in many other cultures. Sea urchins from the clean cold Pacific waters of B.C. produce some of the world's sweetest uni. Live Sea Urchin Sales information can be found here.
Here are some serving suggestions to get you started:
|Uni Donburi||Serve on top of rice, with soya sauce and/or lemon juice. Or just enjoy as is!|
|Uni Appetizer||Avacado slices with soya sauce and/or lemon juice, with hint of wasabi.|
|Sea Urchin stuffed Calamari||Boil small squid and chill. Stuff sea urchin into body of squid, cut into rings, and serve.|
|Sea Urchin Pasta||First prepare your favourite pasta to taste. Then mix in whole sea urchin caviar. Add some cod roe (tarako) with it for a true seafood flavour.|
|Sea Urchin Teriyaki Sauce||Mix Sea Urchin Caviar with Mirin and Egg yolk, and use as a sauce for chicken, steak (for the fusion flavour!), or other favourable inventions.|
|Sea Urchin Croquette||Combine Uni Caviar into croquette mix.|
|Wine and Cheese Party||Stun your guests with your delicious great new idea: Crackers, topped with cheese, coupled with Uni Caviar, and a hint of a favourable garnish.|
Baked Sea Urchin with Sea Urchin Butter
12 x sea urchins in shells
1 cup unsalted butter
freshly-ground white pepper
2 tbl fish stock
1 tbl heavy cream
1 pch cayenne pepper
Coarse salt to taste
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 whl lemon halved
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut away the flat bottom of the sea-urchin shell with scissors; pour away liquid. Scrape out membrane with the end of a spoon's handle. Set aside the six most attractive urchins in a baking dish.
Scoop the flesh out of the remaining six to yield about 1/2 cup. Pulse in food processor for 5 to 8 seconds. Add butter, and blend until thoroughly emulsified; add more butter if necessary. Press the urchin-butter mixture through a sieve with a spatula.
Bake the whole sea urchins 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine stock, cream, cayenne, salt, and pepper, to taste, in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add urchin-butter mixture, stirring constantly, until resulting emulsion thickens. Adjust seasoning; add lemon juice.
Remove sea urchins from oven. Arrange them on a bed of seaweed, drizzle with Sea Urchin Butter, and garnish with lemon halves.
Crab with Truffled Mashed Potatoes and Sea Urchin Sauce
Truffled Mashed Potatoes:
1 lb Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn or russet potatoes, peeled and halved
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbl unsalted butter
1 tbl white truffle oil
3 oz fresh or frozen black truffle, (2 tablespoons if minced)
Sea Urchin Sauce:
4 tbl unsalted butter, room temperature
1 x shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 x spring thyme
1/4 cup clam juice
1 oz sea urchin roe, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz fresh Dungeness crab meat
fresh chive for garnish
To make potatoes:
In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water by 1 inch. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to saucepan. Over low heat, cook potatoes until a film begins to appear opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. In another saucepan, heat cream and butter until hot. Using a food mill or ricer, puree potatoes. Whisk hot cream mixture into potatoes until absorbed. Transfer potatoes to a bowl; loosely cover with aluminum foil, set over (but not touching) warm water for up to one hour before serving. Just before serving, stir in the truffle oil and chopped truffles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make sea urchin sauce:
In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add wine, increase heat to medium-high, and cook to reduce liquid by half.
Add thyme and clam juice and cook to reduce to 3 or 4 tablespoons. Reduce heat to low and whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make an emulsified sauce and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Add sea urchin roe. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set over warm water (but not touching) for up to 1 hour before serving.
Warm crabmeat in a bowl set over warm water. Put 1/4 of the warm mashed potatoes in the center of plate. Top with crabmeat and spoon on some of the sea urchin sauce. G
Garnish with chives.
Chef's tip to simplify: "The most complicated this here is the sauce; try anchovy butter in place of the sauce. It's quick and easy, and would be an interesting addition to this dish."
L'oursinade De Bonfield
2 tbl butter
3 tbl minced shallots
2 cup white wine
2 lt light cream
3/4 lb sea urchin roe
white pepper to taste
1/8 tsp salt
Saute shallots in butter to soften Add white wine and reduce to syrup Add cream and bring to boil Press sea urchin roe through sieve or strainer Garnish with red caviar or fresh green chives Serve with garlic toast fingers.
Linguine with Sea Urchins
1 lb Fresh sea urchin roe chopped in thumbnail size pieces
3 x Scallions thinly sliced
1 x Yellow zucchini sliced paper thin
2 1/2 cup Roughly-chopped overripe plum tomatoes (abt 6 tomatoes)
1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 tbl Hot crushed peppers
1/2 tbl Sea salt
1 lb Linguine
1/2 cup Finely-chopped Italian parsley (abt 2 bunches)
Place 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a large earthenware serving bowl, place half the urchins, scallions, zucchini, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, hot pepper and sea salt and allow to stand.
Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente and drain well. Pour pasta into bowl with urchin roe mixture and toss like a salad to mix well. Place remaining urchins over top, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Oyster and Sea Urchin Stew
16 x Oysters
8 x Sea urchins
(or 1/2 cup urchin roe)
1 bn Spinach leaves
1 tsp Fresh lemon juice
5 tbl Heavy cream
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground white pepper to taste
2 tsp Finely-chopped fresh chives or parsley
Shuck the oysters into a bowl and refrigerate. Discard the shells.
Cut into the top of the sea urchins and then around the sides with a strong pair of scissors. Carefully spoon out the orange or yellow roe and reserve it in a small bowl in the refrigerator. If you're serving the stew in the sea urchin shells, scrub them thoroughly and dry them in a 200 degree oven.
Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, rinse them in a colander under cold running water, squeeze out the excess water and reserve.
Warm the oysters in their liquid in a saucepan over medium heat until the liquid barely begins to simmer at the edge of the pan and the oysters begin to curl around the edges, about 3 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the hot oysters to a clean kitchen towel or clean napkin so any grit will pull off the oysters and cling to the towel. Strain the oyster-cooking liquid through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan. Add the lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of the heavy cream to the oyster liquid and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until the mixture has the consistancy of cold heavy cream. Meanwhile, simmer the remaining tablespoon of cream in a small pan until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper and add the spinach. Stir for a minute over medium heat to heat the spinach. Arrange the spinach in a small mound in the center of each soup plate or sea urchin shell. Gently stir the chives, oysters and sea urchin roe into the oyster sauce and heat gently - without boiling - for about 30 seconds. Arrange the oysters and roe around and over the spinach. Make sure everyone gets 4 oysters. Spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately. This recipe yields 4 servings.
Prawns, Sea Urchin and Lychee Ceviche
2 tbl toasted white sesame seeds
1 tbl sesame oil
1 tbl palm sugar
2 tbl roasted garlic, minced
1 tbl lemon zest
1/4 cup Shoa xing (Chinese cooking wine)
2 tbl Canola oil
the meat from 1 vanilla pod
12 x 16/20 Prawns - shells off, tails on, de-veined
Sea Urchin Sauce
1/2 cup Lime juice
1/2 cup Orange juice
3 tbl White soy sauce
1 tbl Sake
1 tbl Fresh grated ginger
1 tbl Panca pepper paste (available in Latin markets)
1 tbl Cilantro
2 tbl Honey
2 tbl Fresh mint minced
7 x Lychees quarted
1 lb Sea urchins
1 x whole seedless cucumber
Whisk ingredients in a bowl. Add prawns and marinade for 2 hours. Skewer with sugar cane sticks, lemon grass or wooden skewers. Season to taste.
Sea Urchin Sauce:
Whisk ingredients in a bowl. Add sea urchin, approximately 2-3 per glass. Let it rest for 2-3 hours.
Slice a cucumber paper-thin and line your favourite martini or wine glass. Pour in your sea urchin and lychee ceviche. Grill your prawns for about 3 minutes on each side and place on top of your glass. Garnish with orange segments and fresh mint springs. Eat by dipping the prawns in the ceviche.
Raw Sea Urchin with Lemon
6 x sea urchins in shells - (to 8)
Seaweed for presentation (optional)
1 whl lemon halved
Insert scissors in hole located on domed top of sea urchin. Rotate around top of shell, cutting toward outer edge, exposing flesh.
Place a bed of seaweed in a shallow bowl; top with crushed ice. Arrange sea urchins on top of ice; garnish with lemon and serve.
Sea Urchin Ceviche with Orange Chile De Arbol Sauce
2 cup fresh orange juice
1 x shallot chopped finely
1 tbl chopped ginger
1 x lemongrass stalk
1 x chile de arbol
2 x garlic cloves chopped finely
1 x lime juiced
2 x fresh sea urchin
2 x fresh cilantro leaves
In medium saucepot combine the orange juice with the shallot, ginger, lemongrass, chile de arbol and garlic. Allow the orange juice to reduce by 2/3, then strain sauce and allow it to cool. When sauce is cool, add the lime juice.
With a pair of scissors cut the top of each sea urchin making sure to discard any shell that might have broken loose in the urchin. With a paring knife, scoop and detach the urchin from the shell. When this is done, spoon a little sauce on each urchin, garnish with cilantro leaves and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
This recipe yields 2 servings.
Sea Urchin Chowder
16 oz broken sea urchin roe
32 oz dice potatoes
16 oz dice celery
2 x liters. light cream
3 gal fish stock
5 x bay leaves, white pepper, salt to taste
Pan fry urchin roe in saucepan with butter until cooked (2-3 min.) Make soup stock, add ingredients, cook until potato tender (not mush) Strain ingredients, bring to boil, whip in thickening agent until smooth Add in cooked ingredients and stir lightly & serve For thickening - cook flour and butter in saucepan to make thick sauce
Sea Urchin Custards
1 1/2 lt water
45 gm Konbu
100 ml ice water
55 gm Bonito, flakes
2 tbl soy sauce
2 tbl mirin
7 x egg
7 x sea urchin roes
1 lt dashi mixture
4 x shiso leaves, julienne
10 x spot prawn, shelled, deveined
1 cup sake
4 x water chestnuts, thinly, shaved
1/2 cup dashi mixture
1/2 cup soy sauce
In a large sauce pot combine water and konbu. Place on medium high heat and remove just before the boil. Strain and immediately add ice water to cool. Add bonito flakes and place back on heat. Bring new mixture just to a boiling point and strain immediately. Season liquid with 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and mirin.
Preheat oven 325 - 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, using a hand held blender, mix together the eggs and the sea urchin. Combine with the dashi mixture and allow to rest in fridge. Discard any impurities that will settle on the top.
Place sake in a separate bowl and add chopped prawns. Allow to marinade for at least 10 minutes.
In small 2 1/2 ounce ramekins add a few pieces of chopped prawns and a few shavings of water chestnuts. Pour custard over until ramekin is almost full. Top with a little chiffonade of shiso.
Cook in a bain marie or water bath for 25 - 35 minutes.
When custards are finished cooking remove from oven and allow to cool.
Mix an equal amount of soy sauce and dashi mixture. Slightly warm custards either in the oven or for 10 seconds on medium high in the microwave.
Spoon a teaspoon of the soy-dashi mixture on top and serve immediately.
Sea Urchin Tempura with Nobu
1 sheet dried nori
8 x shiso leaves
3 1/2 oz fresh sea-urchin roe
All-purpose flour for coating
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Sea salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 x lemon or limes halved
3 cup ice water
1 lrg egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour
Cut nori into 6 narrow strips of equal size (only 4 strips are used). Place a strip of nori on a clean work surface. Place two shiso leaves at one end. Top leaves with a heaping tablespoon of sea urchin roe, and roll up in the nori to enclose. Dab the end of the nori with a drop of tempura batter to seal. Repeat process with the remaining 3 strips of nori. Coat each roll lightly with flour.
Make the Tempura Batter: Fill a glass measuring cup with the ice water. Add egg yolk, and mix well. Pour 1 cup into a small bowl; discard remaining water. Whisk flour into egg-and-water mixture until just combined. The batter should not be smooth but a little lumpy. ( Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
Heat 3 inches oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees, using a deep-fry thermometer. Dip the rolls in the tempura batter to cover. Fry until crisp, about 3 minutes.
Serve immediately with salt, pepper, and lemon or lime halves on the side.
This recipe yields 4 servings
Spaghetti with Sea Urchins and Clams
Salt as needed
2 tbl olive oil
1 x garlic clove minced
1 dsh crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb spaghetti
1 cup white wine
2 lb small clams in shell (Manila type)
2 x trays sea urchins - (2 oz ea)
Italian parsley, leaves only left whole
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Divide among 6 heated pasta bowls and garnish with the reserved sea urchin and several leaves of parsley. Serve immediately.
This recipe yields 6 servings.
West Coast Pine and Lobster Mushroom Sautee with Urchin Roe
8 slc pine mushroom
8 slc lobster mushroom
6 clv garlic, sliced
2 tbl chives, finely, chopped
3 oz dry white wine
4 tbl shallot, finely, diced
1/2 cup 35% cream
4 piece sea urchin roe
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
24 x kawari sprouts
16 x sorrel leaf
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Pre-heat a large saute/frying pan on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and then the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and saute for 1 minute on each side. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add white wine and cream; stew the mushrooms, reducing the sauce for 30 seconds.
Season with salt and pepper and finish with chives.
To serve, present two slices of each mushroom alternately on top of each other on the centre of the plate.
Finish with the chive cream sauce and 1 piece of sea urchin roe, wilted sorrel and kawari sprouts.
Sea Urchin Bruschetta
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
24 sea urchin pieces
6 rustic bread slices
Combine the minced onion, sherry, lemon juice, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl. Add the urchins and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate while you grill the bread. Brush the bread slices with the remaining olive oil and grill over medium heat until both sides are lightly colored. Slice the toast into fingers and top with the urchin and serve.
Sashimi of Snapper with Sea Urchin and Truffles
2 (2 1/2 pound) whole snapper (or opakapaka or Thai sea bream)
1/4 cup sea urchin
2 ounces ginger juice
2 ounces soy sauce
2 ounces yuzu juice
2 ounces lemon juice
2 ounces truffle oil
1 ounce rayu (spicy sesame oil)
1 fresh truffle, julienne (optional)
Japanese herbs (beni tate, baby shiso, baby negi)
2 ounces scallion oil, recipe follows
Bone snapper and slice the fish fillets into thin sashimi slices and arrange flat on a plate. Puree sea urchin with a hand blender or a small bar blender.
With a tablespoon, pour the following liquids around and over the sashimi; ginger juice, soy sauce, yuzu juice, lemon juice, truffle oil, sea urchin, and spicy sesame oil. Garnish with fresh truffles, Japanese herbs, and droplets of scallion oil.
1 bunch green onions
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons ginger juice
Quickly blanch green onions in hot water and shock immediately in ice water. Squeeze out the water from the green onion and place in blender with the olive oil. Add the ginger juice, season with salt, and blend. Strain through a fine sieve.
Sea Urchin Mousse with Ginger Vinaigrette
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from 1 envelope)
1/2 cup cooled vegetable broth
1 (4-oz) tray uni (sea urchin roe)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne
1/3 cup chilled heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated (with a rasp) peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons mild extra-virgin olive oil (preferably French)
Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer
Garnish: chopped chives and thinly sliced cucumber
Sprinkle gelatin over broth in a small saucepan and let stand 1 minute to soften, then cook over moderate heat, stirring, until dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes.
Force uni through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, scraping bottom of sieve occasionally.
Whisk in yolk, salt, lemon juice, and cayenne, then add broth mixture, whisking. Return to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 170°F on therometer, 2 to 3 minutes. (Do not let simmer or egg will curdle.) Transfer mixture to a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture is cold and the consistency of raw egg whites, about 10 minutes.
Beat cream with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks, then fold cream into uni mixture gently but thoroughly. Chill, covered, until set, about 1 hour.
Make vinaigrette while mousse chills:
Press hard on ginger in a small fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl to extract 1 teaspoon juice (discard solids), then whisk in lemon juice and salt. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
Spoon 1/4 cup mousse onto each of 6 plates, then drizzle with some vinaigrette.
Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day.
Ginger vinaigrette can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes 6 first-course servings.
Red Mullet with Sea Urchin
For four persons
8 little red mullet (rockfish)
4 sea urchins
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper
Wash and gut the red mullets. Store the liver. Brush over the fish with olive oil then rapidly grill them for 5 minutes on a grill or a barbecue.
During this time mash or mix together the garlic and the liver.
Open the sea urchins, collect the eggs. Carefully add them to the preparation. Wash and drain the chervil, pick the leaves up. Add them to the sauce then pour some olive oil into it. Rectify the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve the grilled fish, recovered with the sauce.
Deep Fried Uni-
16 pieces of uni (approximately 12 Tablespoons) -- you can use fresh or frozen uni - Silicone baking tray, in the shape of madeline (shell shape) if possible. If a madelin-shaped silicone baking tray is not available, you can also use the mini-muffin shape or ice cube shape. The finished fried uni will only midly resemble the shape of the baking tray.
Esca's Maccheroni alla Chitarra with Sea Urchin
1.5 pounds maccheroni alla chitarra (or substitute spaghetti)
8 ounces churned sweet cream butter (2 sticks)
8 ounces Jumbo lump crabmeat (1/2 pound)
8 ounces sea urchin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil (add enough salt for it to taste like sea water). When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and stir. Let cook for 7 minutes. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 cups of the pasta water and all of the butter over medium-low heat. Reduce until well combined. When the pasta is cooked, toss it in the sauté pan with the butter and water mixture until it coats the pasta but is still wet. Turn off the heat. Push the pasta to one side of the pan and add the sea urchin. Break up the sea urchin by tapping it. Then incorporate the sea urchin into the pasta and add the crabmeat. The sauce should coat the pasta without it being too dry. When the sauce is the right consistency, add the olive oil. Season to taste and serve immediately.
SEA URCHINS WITH LINGUINE
Linguine ai ricci di mare
Preparation - Medium
20 very fresh sea urchins
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (taste the oil, must have very delicate flavor)
1 - 2 cloves of garlic
chili pepper - a tiny bit
2 Tablespoons of parsley, minced
salt to taste
3/4 pound pasta
Using a heavy glove in the left hand take a sea urchin and with the point of a pair of scissors cut a circle large enough to spoon out the meat inside. Make sure that none of the shell or the spines is included.
Set the pasta water to boil, and when boiling cook the pasta.
Peel the garlic, crush it slightly, and sauté it gently on low heat with a hint of the hot pepper until a light gold color.
A few minutes before the pasta (about 7 - 8 minutes) is ready, add the sea urchin to the oil and garlic and sautee gently until the pasta is ready. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Drain the pasta, place in a large, heated serving bowl, add the sea urchin sauce, and mix well. Add a sprinkle of parsley and serve.
Raw Sea Urchin wrapped in Roast Beef
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