Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Uni 4-Ways

Jen Phanomrat

Jen shares 4 of her favorite ways to eat the gold of the sea.

Uni 4-Ways

Ingredients

  • Uni Sushi:

  • 1 roasted nori sheet, sliced into strips

  • 1 ½ cups cooked & seasoned sushi rice

  • 4 oz fresh uni

  • 2 tbsp seasoned salmon roe

  • Water for hands

  • Soy sauce for dipping

  • Scallop & Uni Ceviche:

  • ¼ lb sea scallops, sliced into halves

  • 3 oz fresh uni

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

  • ⅛ cup red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Red chili to taste, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • Uni Pasta:

  • 8 oz spaghetti

  • 1 egg

  • 4 tbsp melted butter

  • 4-6 oz fresh uni

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • Grated parmesan to taste

  • Shredded nori

  • Uni Risotto:

  • ¼ lb pancetta, diced

  • 4-6 oz fresh uni

  • 2 tbsp shallots, minced

  • ¾ cup arborio rice

  • ¾ cup sake

  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth

  • 3 tbsp softened butter

  • Furikake to taste

Sundays Ain't Scary

We’re giving you FREE access to Live TV to beat the Sunday Scaries!

Instructions

  1. For Uni Sushi: Wet hands with water and shape a small ball of rice into an oval. Wrap with a strip of nori leaving space on top. Place some salmon roe on top of the rice on one side and uni on the other. Serve with soy sauce.

  2. For Scallop & Uni Ceviche: Combine lime juice, grapefruit juice, onion, garlic, chili, and salt. Gently mix in halved scallops and cilantro. Serve with uni on top.

  3. For Uni Pasta: In a bowl, combine egg, butter, and uni. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Save about ½ cup of pasta water, drain pasta, and return to pot. With the heat off, gradually pour the mixture over the pasta and toss well. Add some of the pasta water and toss until combined. Serve immediately with parmesan, nori, and uni on top.

  4. For Uni Risotto: Using a fork, combine butter and uni and set aside. Heat a small pot of chicken broth on the side on low heat. In a pan, brown pancetta until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. On medium heat, add shallots to and saute in the pancetta fat until translucent. Stir in rice and toast for a few minutes. Lower the heat and pour sake and stir until the rice has mostly absorbed the liquid. Add a ladle of broth and stir occasionally until the liquid is absorbed. Continue the process until all the broth is absorbed and the rice is cooked to your liking. Turn off heat and stir in pancetta and uni butter. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of furikake and uni on top.

Uni 4-Ways
email

Email

print

Print

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- This pallet of goodness goes by many different names. Some call it the ocean's foie gras, the gold of the sea or my personal favorite, the whore's eggs. What are these? Sea urchins, well more specifically, sea urchin gonads or their reproductive organs, to be exact, but they mostly go by their Japanese name, uni. There's a whole process before it could be beautifully arranged and sold on a pallet like this. In a nutshell or in this case, a sea urchin shell, it kind of goes like this. First these crazy, spiky looking dudes have to be harvested from the ocean and that usually involves highly trained divers. And then they are cut open and cleaned out. This is what a sea urchin shell looks like without all of those spikes and what you'll find inside are five golden tongue-like looking organs. Those are the gonads. The uni is then removed, sorted by grade, and then packaged. Depending on it's origin, uni tastes slightly different from one region to another, but for uni lovers, the main characteristics are essentially the same. Upon first taste, there's this ocean brininess that just graces your tongue. Mm, and then it melts and what you're left with, oh, is this creamy sweetness that is indescribable. It is uniquely uni. It definitely is an acquired taste. In fact, the first time I tried it I spit that out. It felt like my mouth needed an exorcism, but only because I didn't have the good stuff, but then I got hold of the good stuff and then that was it, I was in, I feel in love, and now I'm a proud whore's egg lover. Mhm, never thought I'd say that in my life. The best way to eat uni is in it's raw, plain state, but there are other ways to prepare it and I'm gonna share my four favorite ways. First up, uni sushi. Wet your hands with some water, then shape a small ball of cooked sushi rice into an oval. Wrap it with a strip of nori, leaving some space on the top. Place some salmon roe on top along with some uni or just top the whole thing with uni. You could serve it with some soy sauce on the side, but to be honest it doesn't need any and in my opinion, sushi rice is the best carrier for uni. Next up, scallop and uni ceviche. In a bowl, combine freshly squeezed lime juice, grapefruit juice, thinly sliced onion, garlic, chili, and salt. With a gentle hand, mix in some sliced, raw scallops and bright cilantro. And bless it with some uni right on top. This sweet, creamy uni really balances out all those bold flavors and makes it taste magical. To some, it might feel like a sin to blend up or cook uni, but I have to say, it does make a powerful addition to hot dishes. For example, uni pasta. In a bowl whisk egg, melted butter, uni, and salt. Cook spaghetti in salted water and save about half a cup of that pasta water. Drain off the pasta, return it to the pot and with the heat off, gradually pour the mixture over the pasta and toss it well. Add some of the pasta water and continue tossing until everything's well combined. Serve it immediately with grated Parmesan, some shredded nori, and of course more uni on top. This is a must try, so go ahead and twirl your way into this guilty pleasure. Lastly, uni risotto. Using a fork, combine softened butter and uni and then set it aside. Heat a small pot of chicken broth on the side on low heat and in another pan, brown pancetta until crispy. Then set those crispy bits aside. Saute some shallots in the pancetta fat until translucent and stir in Arborio rice and toast those grains for a few minutes. Instead of your usual wine, pour sake until all the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add in a ladle of the chicken broth and stir it occasionally until that's all absorbed. Continue the process until all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is cooked to your liking and then stir in the pancetta and uni butter. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of foiekage and more uni right on top. Comfort never looked so good. And there you have it, uni four ways. I really hope you'll dive in and give these recipes a try. I love uni, hue!