Birdís Nest from the Sea
+ Click image to enlarge

Uni Ika Sugomori Zukuri or “Bird’s Nest from the Sea”
Chef Sotohiro Kosugi of Soto – New York, NY
Adapted by
August 2009
Yield: 1 Serving


Soy Reduction Sauce (Makes 10 Servings):
45 milliliters sake
30 milliliters tamari 
45 milliliters Koi-kuchi Japanese organic soy bean sauce
55 milliliters mirin
21 grams bonito flakes
7 grams dashi konbu, (or Japanese dried kelp)
15 grams grated fresh wasabi

Uni and Ika:
40 grams sashimi quality squid, cut into 5x10-centimeter sheet
½ teaspoon grated fresh wasabi
1 shiso leaf
45 grams uni
1 sheet nori (dry seaweed), julienned

To Assemble and Serve:
1 quail egg


For the Soy Reduction Sauce:
Bring the sake to a boil and reduce to three quarters of the original volume. Combine the sake, tamari, soy bean sauce, and mirin in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, skimming the scum from the surface. Simmer until mixture reduces to three quarters of the original volume. Add the bonito flakes to the sauce and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Strain and add the dashi konbu. Transfer the sauce to the refrigerator to cool overnight. Just before service, strain the sauce through a fine filter and add the fresh grated wasabi.

For the Uni and Ika :
Lay squid onto cutting board. Using a sharp sashimi knife, butterfly the squid. Cut shiso leaf into 3 pieces and lay onto one side of the squid sheet. Fold other side of the squid over the shiso. Using a back-and forth motion, slice 1-millimiter thick ribbons of the squid and shiso. Spread ribbons of squid into a round shape approximately 10 to 12 centimeters in diameter on a clean cutting board. Spread ½ teaspoon of fresh grated wasabi on the squid.
Place uni on the middle of the squid. Using a spoon, pull the edges of the squid toward the roe until ball-shaped. Spread nori on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll the squid ball in the nori to coat, leaving the top uncovered.

To Assemble and Serve:
Put 2 teaspoons of the sauce on the bottom of a chilled serving bowl. Place the uni ball on top. Using chopsticks, make a small hole on the top of the ball and spoon 2/3 of a teaspoon of the sauce into it. Separate the quail egg yolk from the white and place the yolk in the hole.