Scrumptious sea urchins – straight up or with pasta

sea urchins

One afternoon we bought these fresh from a young man on a street corner, selling sea urchin, fish and many many octopus, which still looked alive and made me feel guilty.. The sea urchins however were taken home, expertly cracked open (not by me..), and after a drop of olive oil was added to each one,  eaten by scooping up the roe and oil with rustic bread made from ground semolina flour. Very nice indeed. Another way to enjoy sea urchin roe is: Pasta with sea urchins 1) open sea urchins, remove roe, and reserve or buy uni at a japanese shop if you have one close – cut uni into smaller pieces if using – say 4 for large uni 2) Put pasta on the stove – linguine are good here, don’t use anything spirally 3) Heat olive oil with some chopped garlic and a small amount of red chili if you like, don’t overdo the chili it will kill the flavour of the roe, when the garlic has flavoured the warm oil and your pasta is ready, add the sea urchin roe to the oil without cooking it, add some shredded fresh flat leaf parsley and mix it all together and serve. It goes without saying that you don’t eat this with parmigiano 🙂

Sea urchins 1


6 thoughts on “Scrumptious sea urchins – straight up or with pasta

    • Hi Arthur – maybe it is – I agree that the sea urchin roe does look a bit strange – like little bits of slithery orange nothing with the weird consistency of liver and the delicate taste of high end leather, at least that is the closest I can come to describing them, first time I had them in Washington DC on sushi with a Japanese friend I thought they were really weird, but over the years I have grown to love them.
      Fish head soup now, that I don’t think I could face – literally…..:)

  1. Yes, I know about “no cheese on seafood” an Italian friend told me. But the urchins, never had any. I’ve seen live urchins and uni served in Japanese restaurants, but somehow never had the urge to try them. Fish head curry, however, I’ve had a number of times and thought it was very tasty! That was how I came to know okra, in a fish head curry!

  2. Aha so its 2: 0 for the sea urchins, seeing as neither you nor Arthur eat any – and 0 for the fish heads – which is good that way they don’t go to waste. I suppose I will have to ditch my prejudice and give it a try, not sure where I can get some but will keep my eyes open! Thanks for the comments!

    • I love the japanese sea urchins, so much larger than the Mediterranean ones, never had them wrapped in shiso leaves with seaweed though. Love shiso, had a friend bring me seeds back from Japan, to grow here. Amazing herb.

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