Sea urchin roe is one of my favourite sashimi! So rich and creamy and briny <3. I tried sea urchin pasta for the first time in Japan a few years back and it was amazing as well. And of course I had to try to make it myself, but I always feel heartsick at the thought of throwing all the expensive uni into pasta when I can just have it as sashimi and savour every single bit of it. That’s why on my first attempt at uni pasta, I just used a few bits (see the following 3 pictures).
I probably used a quarter of the package of uni. The box of uni in itself is already really small, so the uni flavour in the pasta wasn’t as prominent as I would have liked it. But the pictures were way better as I took them during the daytime, whereas my 2nd attempt photos were dependent on dim lighting =(.
Pleased to say that on the 2nd attempt, the pasta came out creamier and more luscious! I sacrificed the whole box this time… just for myself *guilt*. I also omitted the seaweed as it got in the way of the flavour of the pasta. It goes better with mentaiko pasta I think.
Ingredients (For 1 greedy person)
- 1/2 cup thickened cream (the original recipe calls for 1 cup cream per person, you could just adjust accordingly. I’m just trying to make myself feel less guilty)
- 3 prawns shelled and deveined with tails on (Reserve the prawn shells and heads)
- 20g butter
- 1 package uni (sea urchin)
- 1 chilli padi, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 egg yolk
- chives for garnishing
- handful of parmesan cheese
- Angel hair/instant cook spaghetti or other pasta noodle of your choice
- Ikura (as much as you like)
- Melt the butter over low heat and add the prawn heads/shells in. Crush the prawn heads so that all the flavour comes out into the butter. Take the pan off the heat so that the butter doesn’t brown and continue crushing the shells.
- Pour the butter and shells into a sieve and squeeze out all the juices/butter into another pan (you’ll use this pan to make the cream sauce)
- Meanwhile, sear the prawns and set aside
- Throw in the chilli padi and the minced garlic into the pan with the prawn head butter and fry until the garlic turns golden. If you like, you can also add a little more butter.
- Add in the cream and bring to a simmer before switching it off. Don’t boil the cream.
- When the cream has cooled a little, pour into a blender. Your cream shouldn’t be hot as this would cook the uni and scramble the egg later. The uni needs to be soft, raw and creamy while the egg yolk needs to be silky.
- Save a few pieces of the uni for garnishing, and add the rest to the cream.
- Blend the uni and cream (just need to give it a few pulses) and pour the mixture back into the pan.
- Add the beaten egg yolk and stir it in.
- Add a tablespoon or so of parmesan cheese into the cream and heat the mixture up again (I’m guestimating here, adapt to your own tastes ;p) . Taste it and season with some salt. (I didn’t put pepper as I thought it might overpower the uni)
- Add in the freshly cooked pasta and mix it into the sauce. If you have strong wrists, toss the lot to combine.
- Dish out the pasta onto a serving plate, top with the prawns, raw uni, some chives, a bit more cheese and as much ikura as you like~
Now that I’ve seen the amount of sea urchin, prawn head brains and cream that went into the dish, my heart is starting to palpitate at the sheer amount of cholesterol that went into this meal ;(