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Peekytoe Crab and Uni Parfait with Avocado Puree, Ginger Vinaigrette, Toasted Rice Pearls, and American Caviar by Chef Harold Dieterle of Perilla
Uni Foam Technique

Technique: Uni Mousse
Chef Harold Dieterle of Perilla – New York, NY
April 2009

Chef Harold Dieterle of Manhattan’s Perilla transforms what we know as uni into an “uni”dentifiable mousse in his Peekytoe Crab and Uni Parfait.

Dieterle’s mousse is a blend of uni (or the gonads of the sea urchin) with lobster stock and heavy cream. When the proteins from the uni bind with the heavy cream and cook, they act as a natural thickening agent that helps stablilize the mousse.

Naturally, the texture of uni is creamy and light, but Dieterle takes it to a new level by loading the uni mixture with nitrous oxide in a food whipper. The mixture is brought down in temperature to approximately 60°F. It is then whipped into an even airier, fluffier state, further enhancing the uni’s already ethereal flavor.

Step 1: Make and reduce lobster stock.
Step 2: Add cream and reduce.
Step 3: Season.
Step 4: Add uni.
Step 5: Transfer to blender and blend.
Step 6: Cool.
Step 7: Add to canister. Cool to 60°F and charge with two cream chargers.
Step 8: Dispense.


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Peekytoe Crab and Uni Parfait with Avocado Puree, Ginger Vinaigrette, Toasted Rice Pearls, and American Caviar
Chef Harold Dieterle of Perilla – New York, NY
Adapted by
April 2009
Yield: 4 Servings


Uni Mousse:
1 pint lobster stock     
1 cup heavy cream
1 tray shelled uni
Salt and pepper

Avocado Puree:
4 ounces spinach                    
1 avocado, peeled      
Zest and juice of 1 lime                     
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

Ginger Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon minced ginger   
2 teaspoons fish sauce            
1 tablespoon lime juice           
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

To Assemble and Serve:
8 ounces Peekytoe crab                      
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
Salt and pepper                                  
4 ounces uni                           
American caviar
Toasted rice pearls

For the Uni Mousse:
In a sauce pot, reduce the lobster stock by half; add the cream and reduce by half. Season generously and add the uni; stir and heat for just a minute or so. Transfer to a Vita-Prep blender and immediately puree. Strain and cool the mixture until it reaches 60ºF. Add the mixture to a whip cream canister. Use two cream (CO2) chargers and set aside.

For the Avocado Puree:
In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch and shock the spinach; squeeze out the excess water. Place all the ingredients in a Vita-Prep blender. Puree until smooth, and push through a chinois. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

For the Ginger Vinaigrette:
In a blender, add the ginger, fish sauce, and lime juice and blend. Slowly drizzle in the oil to form an emulsion and season with the salt and pepper. Strain the dressing through a cheese cloth-lined chinois.

To Assemble and Serve:
In a bowl, add the crab, shallots, chives, and 1 teaspoon ginger vinaigrette; toss together and season generously. In a chilled bowl, place a spoonful of the avocado puree on the bottom; top with the crab salad mixture. Place a lobe or two of the uni and a spoonful of the caviar on top. Add the uni mousse around the avocado and crab, leaving the crab, uni, and caviar visible. Sprinkle with the toasted rice pearls and serve immediately.


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  Published: April 2009