Creamy Uni Udon Pasta
For those of you who may not be familiar, "uni" is the Japanese term of sea urchin. What I actually didn't know until just recently is that it's the "sex organ that produces roe, sometimes referred to as the gonads or corals" (according to Food & Wine). Mind blown! Whether it's meat or seafood, I try not to think too hard about its body parts. Otherwise I'd be weeping into my food and feeling guilty about the once live animal I'm eating.
Uni is definitely an acquired taste. Most people seem to either love it or absolutely hate it, with no in-between sentiments. For me personally, I actually dislike eating it as is (which is usually over rice as sushi). I do, however, like it when it's mixed into a dish. A fine example is when it's drenched in cream sauce over noodles. So far, I've only encountered this type of dish at two restaurants in my lifetime. My assumption is that it's too fusion to be at most traditional Japanese or Korean restaurants. Because of that, I figured I can make my own version at home. The only caveat here is that good! uni is very expensive! You can find them at most Japanese supermarkets, but expect a hefty price tag. For my recipe below, I purchased 2 oz for $16). Worth it!
Creamy Uni Udon Pasta
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
2 packages of udon (frozen or fresh)
~2 oz uni (sea urchin)
3 garlic gloves (minced)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp of shredded nori
~1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
In a pot, boil water and add in udon. If fresh, cook for about 1-3 minutes until softened. If frozen, cook for about 2-4 minutes until softened (or follow instructions on packaging). Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, mash together about 3/4 of your uni with spoon or whisk. Set aside the remain 1/4.
In a separate pot or shallow pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add udon then heavy cream, cheese, salt, nori, and mix all ingredients together.
Turn off stove. Add mashed uni to udon and toss evenly together. Transfer Creamy Uni Udon Pasta to serving plate. Add more nori, if desired. Top off with remaining uni.