I had my first bite of raw fish sushi in high school, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I finally persuaded myself to try uni. The delightfully pure saltiness of the roe was a surprise; somehow I had expected something more funky. Its subtle, oceany richness captivated me, and I've been eating it at sushi joints ever since. Until this week, however, I had never brought some home to cook with myself.
Ben Sargent's Flying Sea Urchin Pasta is, as he says in The Catch, a great way to introduce uni-newbies to the greatness of the ingredient. By blending the uni with olive oil and pasta water, Sargent creates a silky and unbelievably creamy cream-less sauce. Fresh flying fish roe adds plenty of textural interest, and a final dash of chives brighten the bowl up.
Why I picked this recipe: I can't get enough uni.
What worked: Everything here worked perfectly; the sauce was a snap to blend up, and then all that was left to do was a little bit of stirring.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: If you don't want to shell out for a quarter pound of uni, you can easily divide the recipe in half.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.