Sea Urchin Bisque
With its salty, clean ocean scent and hues of gold, yellow and orange, its sweet, crisp, lingering taste and creamy, buttery texture – the captivating sea urchin roe makes for an elegant bisque and its skeleton provides the vessel for a most dramatic presentation… perfect for New Year’s Eve dinner!
How to Clean a Sea Urchin
Wearing gloves, turn the sea urchin upside-down to expose the mouth. Using a towel for stability, take the kitchen shears and pierce a hole near the perimeter of the skeleton. Then cut a circle of about a 3″ diameter out of the shell.
Use the spoon to lift up the circular cut part of the shell, then remove it and the entire chewing organ known as Aristotle’s lantern, which looks like a white star-shaped flower.
Pour out the liquid and discard the “black stuff” which is made up of its partially digested food, such as seaweed and other organic matter.
Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the roe. Rinse the roe in a bowl of cool water and remove any “black stuff” still clinging to the orange roe.
Sea Urchin Bisque Recipe
- 2 T. butter
- 4 shallots, minced
- 1 T. ginger, minced
- 1 c. sake
- 6 c. dashi
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 4 whole sea urchins
- 3 T. chives, chopped
- Saute shallot and ginger in butter.
- Deglaze with sake.
- Add dashi and cream.
- Reduce by a quarter.
- Add sea urchin roe and blend util smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup in the hollow sea urchin shells nestled in a salt pile.
- Garnish with chives.
This recipe comes from Chef Bruce Nguyen of Bashi Restaurant at Terranea Resort. I had the pleasure of shooting this dish at the Chefs Cooking Series last month. He served the Sea Urchin Bisque with Dungeness Crab Crostini.