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Sea Urchin


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Neither of us had tried uni before, and we both managed it but found the texture off-putting.  I'm not sure that's something you get used to.  

I thought the same thing when I first tried uni, and now it's one of my favorite things to order when it appears on a menu (especially at Sushi Capitol, where it's usually excellent).  If you liked the flavor but just couldn't get over the texture, keep an eye out for it in non-sushi contexts where it gets mixed with other ingredients and the texture gets masked -- Morini has it in a bucatini dish, Seki's with quail egg is one of my favorites on their menu (both are ever-present items, I believe).  My love of uni started with a few dots of uni sauce (so no texture issue!) on a Komi crudo dish years ago, and now I'll eat the raw lobes whenever I can.

Uni/mackerel/herring aside, sounds like it was a successful meal?  We still need to get to Sushi Capitol for the omakase; we've definitely done our part for the take-out business.

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I thought the same thing when I first tried uni, and now it's one of my favorite things to order when it appears on a menu (especially at Sushi Capitol, where it's usually excellent).  If you liked the flavor but just couldn't get over the texture, keep an eye out for it in non-sushi contexts where it gets mixed with other ingredients and the texture gets masked -- Morini has it in a bucatini dish, Seki's with quail egg is one of my favorites on their menu (both are ever-present items, I believe).  My love of uni started with a few dots of uni sauce (so no texture issue!) on a Komi crudo dish years ago, and now I'll eat the raw lobes whenever I can.

Uni/mackerel/herring aside, sounds like it was a successful meal?  We still need to get to Sushi Capitol for the omakase; we've definitely done our part for the take-out business.

I'll look for it in other contexts.  Thanks for the tip.  It was indeed a successful meal.

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I thought the same thing when I first tried uni, and now it's one of my favorite things to order when it appears on a menu (especially at Sushi Capitol, where it's usually excellent).  If you liked the flavor but just couldn't get over the texture, keep an eye out for it in non-sushi contexts where it gets mixed with other ingredients and the texture gets masked -- Morini has it in a bucatini dish, Seki's with quail egg is one of my favorites on their menu (both are ever-present items, I believe).  My love of uni started with a few dots of uni sauce (so no texture issue!) on a Komi crudo dish years ago, and now I'll eat the raw lobes whenever I can.

Uni/mackerel/herring aside, sounds like it was a successful meal?  We still need to get to Sushi Capitol for the omakase; we've definitely done our part for the take-out business.

Matt was ten when he took his first bite of uni - it was touch-and-go there for a few seconds. Uni is one of the world's great tastes - if you can think of the texture as a "pudding," you'll be okay.

I should add: There's almost nothing in the world *worse* than a bad piece of uni. Maybe queso blanco that spoiled - the thought of that still makes me shiver. I guess pretty much *any* animal protein that has gone rancid is enough to provide years, if not decades, of cringe-worthy memories.

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One of my favorite ways I've had uni was at the Sushi Taro omakase where Chef Nobu wrapped lobes around small slivers of wagyu/Kobe beef (don't remember which), topped with a little sea salt, and placed these "rolls" on a hot stone for them to cook in the amount of time it took for him to set them on the stone and hand me the platter. Delightful.

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My wife and I happened to be in New York on our 5th wedding anniversary and ate at Esca.  This was one of those meals that I will remember forever.

One of the dishes we had was Maccheroni Alla Chitarra, which was described as "house made guitar cut spaghetti with sea urchin and crab meat."  It is still on their menu over 5 years later.  To this day I remember this dish (it was certainly the best dish of an amazing meal).  Everything was perfectly cooked and in balance.  To my surprise, the sea urchin was incorporated in the sauce and not detectable the way it would be when eating as sushi.  It added a depth of flavor and silky texture to the sauce.

I should add that the focus of the meal was to serve the best fish/seafood and not mess it up.  Everything was simply prepared, but of the highest quality.  The exception the uni spaghetti which was very complex and amazing.

If you like fish/seafood and you happen to be in NYC, make a reservation at Esca, and try the sea urchin pasta--a must have dish.

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