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Yoo Eatz

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every dish has a story

Linguine With Sea Urchin and CaviarFeb 07, 2012

What's so gross about sea urchin? Even some of the most adventurous eaters I know will make the most horrific faces when the topic comes up.

I asked my husband who generally recoils when I suggest that we share a pair of nigiri at the sushi bar, and he offered that it's a textural thing. Some people say it resembles phlegm (or worse), and I heard one person characterize the briny bits as "little orange tongues" (although, let's face it: the truth of what uni is may actually be harder to stomach!). But a lot of these same people will tell me that the flavor doesn't bother them; in fact, they find it quite pleasant.

So when my BFF told me about a sea urchin pasta she makes for dinner parties, I found a way to sneak uni back into the palettes of the unsuspecting (just a word of caution to anyone who's invited to my house for dinner). This recipe is based upon Eric Ripert's On the Line which means that it is insanely decadent, topping a first course-size portion of sea urchin linguine with Iranian osetra caviar. My girlfriend uses ikura (salmon roe) which also provides a nice, salty punch to the velvety sauce at a much more reasonable price (my nearby Japanese market sells it for $2 per ounce versus $200 for the osetra). I managed to find an ounce of domestic Hackleback caviar for $50, and it was plenty for four servings. And my uni-shy husband? He licked his bowl clean. Read on for the recipe.

BakudanOct 09, 2011

Oishiiiiiiii!! A few months ago, I grabbed drinks and dinner after work with a good friend at Hecho. We were intrigued by the restaurant's izakaya-meets-tequila bar concept, and we were not disappointed. The highlight of the meal was a dish called bakudan, meaning "bomb," and boy was it an explosion of flavors. The artfully constructed dish contained uni (sea urchin), amaebi (raw shrimp), ikura (salmon roe), uzura (raw quail egg), and natto (fermented soy bean) that you briskly stir into a delicious soup, roll up in a rectangle of roasted nori, and munch away for a beautiful bite of the sea.

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