Fresh Sea Urchin, or Uni, is a delicacy that is often eaten in sushi bars, but it’s creamy consistency and light seafood taste make it a perfect ingredient to pair with pasta as well. I usually buy my sea urchin in the market – it takes a lot of work to clean it yourself. The edible part of the sea urchin is actually the gonads, or egg sacs, which are orange colored and inside the shell. The shells are cracked open and the uni is carefully removed and stacked onto trays where they are sold to restaurants and markets.
Uni should taste soft a little sweet and briny. If you find that your sea urchin tastes bitter it is because sometimes alum is added to help it hold its shape. This is because the shape deteriorates over time and the alum is used to help it preserve its shape. I avoid alum altogether by buying my sea urchin fresh and from a reputable market.
For this recipe use the freshest sea urchin you can find. You won’t regret it- this pasta dish is absolutely amazing and once you try it you will want it every time you can get your hands on some fresh sea urchin.