Sea Urchin Toast
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Tairagai & Uni (Japanese Pen Shell & Sea Urchin) with Garlic Soy, XO sauce & Myoga
Chef Chris Chung of Uni – Boston, MA
Adapted by
August 2009
Yield: 1 Servings


Garlic Soy:
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup mirin
2 garlic cloves

Spice Mix:
3 pods star anise
½ teaspoon grain of paradise
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
15 fennel seeds

XO Sauce:
¼ cup shallot oil
6 tablespoons brunoise shallots
2 Thai chilies, dehydrated and ground
3 tablespoons dehydrated and ground prosciutto dust
3 tablespoons finely ground dry shrimp
1½ tablespoons finely ground dry scallops
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing, or Chinese Wine
1 gram spice mix
¼ cup soy sauce

6 tairagai, cleaned and trimmed (reserve tairagai shells for plating)

72 grams uni, divided into 2 grams portions

1 Myoga (ginger bulb), chiffonade
Fleur de sel
Chives, minced
Lemon zest


For the Garlic Soy:
Slowly bring the mirin and soy sauce to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate for one day before use.

For the Spice Mix:
Grind the star anise, grain of paradise, black peppercorns, and fennel seeds into a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar.

For XO Sauce:
Heat half of the shallot oil in a large pan; sweat the shallots over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside. Heat the remaining 1/8 cup shallot oil and sauté the chilies, prosciutto dust, dry shrimp, and dry scallops over medium low heat. Stir in the cooked shallots, sugar, Shaoxing, oyster sauce, and 1 gram of the spice mix. Slowly add the soy sauce and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.

For Tairagai:
Slice each tairagai into 6 pieces. Place the slices on the reserved tairagai shells.

For Uni:
Warm the divided uni in a Salamander broiler or using a hand torch.

To Assemble and Serve:
Dress the tairagai with a splash each of garlic soy and yuzu juice. Place 2 grams of lightly warmed uni on each slice of tairagai. Dress each portion of Uni with 1/8 teaspoon of prepared XO sauce, fleur de sel, chives, and lemon zest. Finish with the myoga.