Creamy uni pasta recipe (sea urchin pasta)

When it comes to fancy pasta recipes, this creamy Uni pasta recipe is top-notch! This is a sea urchin pasta dish with a fresh creamy college sauce. You will love this recipe.

If you’ve ever dined at high-end sushi restaurants or are familiar with Japanese cuisine, you know Uni. Sourced from the reproductive organs of a sea urchin (yes, the spiny things), this orange-colored delight is sweet, creamy, and slightly salty. This dish is a perfect example of Yoshoku cuisine, also known as Western-inspired Japanese cuisine. I’m obsessed with Japanese food of all kinds, so I love this style of cooking!

Contents:

πŸŽ₯ Watch the video of this recipe

What is the University?

Uni is the Japanese word for sea urchin. While we generally think of sea urchins as dark, round shells in the ocean with large spikes, the only edible part comes from the inside of the shell, which is the reproductive organ. It is orange in color and, depending on its origin, usually thumb-length or smaller, sweet and creamy. The most common places to get a college education are Santa Barbara, California, Maine, and Hokkaido, Japan. I highly recommend splurging for Hokkaido Uni, as I find it to be the sweetest and most delicate flavor.

Why you’ll love this creamy Uni Pasta

  • This recipe is so unique and rare in the United States. Using fresh sea urchin gives this sauce a luxurious oceanic flavor without being too fishy!
  • A Uni Butter Sauce is a PEAK fine food and perfect for a date night or just to treat yourself!

πŸ₯˜ What you need for this recipe

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • United Fees – There are no substitutions for this ingredient, as it is the base of the recipe. I recommend going for Hokkaido Uni, as I think it’s the best tasting. However, Santa Barbara Uni or Maine Uni will also work. Look for a university at your local Asian market, at an upscale grocer, at a fish market, or ask at your local sushi restaurant. If all else fails, you can order a new college online.
  • Butter – Use good quality, good tasting butter. Unsalted is best, as plain can sometimes be very salty, but I used salted butter and it was fine. The butter must be very softened.
  • Pasta – For this dish, I used thin, fresh pasta, such as angel hair pasta or tagliolini
  • Yuzu or Lemon Juice – The best option here is Yuzu juice! I linked the juice that I use and keep on hand, but lemon juice will work if you can’t find yuzu!
  • Caviar (optional) – This is obviously optional, but a dollop of caviar on top just pushes the whole thing over the edge. I always buy from Caviar from rue des Perlesand their Ossetra Or Kaluga is my preferred!
  • Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt – Yes, kosher salt do make a big difference. And Diamond Crystal is the best. You can find out more at why the type of salt is important here!

πŸ“‹ How to make Uni Pasta

Step 1: prepare the ingredients

Before you do anything else, take your butter out of the fridge and let it sit for a bit to soften. It should be very soft.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once simmered, add at least one tablespoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt in the pot. More than a tablespoon is encouraged!

Cook your pasta al dente according to package directions, making sure to reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. If using fresh pasta, boil it very quickly, then drain it and reserve the pasta water.

Step 2: Make the Uni Butter

In a large mixing bowl, add the uni and use a whisk to mash the uni into what looks like uni puree. Try to make it as smooth as possible before continuing. If you want, you can use a food processor for this.

Add the softened butter to the bowl of uni mash, then use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until well combined. The end result will be a pale orange butter mixture, it should not look streaky or runny.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Return the cooked pasta to the still hot pot, but removed from the heat. Add about β…“ of the plain butter to the hot pasta and stir vigorously to combine and emulsify. Add about ΒΌ cup of starchy pasta water while mixing.

Repeat this process until all the uni butter is emulsified into a uni sauce, using as much or as little pasta water as necessary.

Add about 1 tablespoon of yuzu juice or lemon juice.

Stir to combine.

Taste and, if necessary, add salt and black pepper to taste.

πŸ’­ Expert tips and tricks

  • If you’re not sure what uni tastes like, you can add a little heavy cream in the last steps of this recipe to thin it out a bit more. However, a good quality plain should have a very mild and pleasant taste.
  • For a pasta dish with only a few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients is very important. Splurge on a high quality butter (something like Kerrygold or better) and opt for a good quality plain. Your college tray should be a light, orange color, with little or no fading.
  • Always, always, always use kosher salt in these recipes. If possible, opt for Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt!

Storage and reheating tips:

  • Keep refrigerated : Wait for the pasta to come to room temperature and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
  • Store in the freezer: Store in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to about 1-2 months.
  • How to reheat: Always inspect leftovers for dirt or mold using your eyes and nose. Reheat by adding a piece of butter to a non-stick pan over medium-low or medium heat until heated through. Add more lemon and water, taking care not to overheat.

Recipe FAQs

What does sea urchin taste like?

Sea urchin, or Uni, tastes like a slightly salty, slightly sweet and creamy food. The flavor may vary depending on its origin. Overall, the taste is very harmless and delicate. Uni is the reproductive gland of a sea urchin, which is often served as a caviar-like delicacy on foods such as nigiri sushi. For some it is an acquired taste, but many find it very tasty.

Does college taste like oysters?

Uni, or sea urchin, has a taste that is in some ways similar to that of oysters. Although the texture is very different, Uni and Oysters taste slightly salty and salty. Uni, however, is sweeter and much less salty than oyster.

What is college pasta?

Uni pasta is a popular Japanese pasta dish with Western influence (this type of food is called Yoshoku), which uses spaghetti with Unitedalso known as the edible part of a sea urchin, and some other ingredients to make sea urchin sauce.

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πŸ“– Recipe

Creamy Uni Pasta Recipe

When it comes to fancy pasta recipes, this creamy Uni pasta recipe is top-notch! This is a sea urchin pasta dish with a fresh creamy college sauce. You will love this recipe.

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Course: Main dish, side dish

Kitchen: American, Asian, Japanese

Diet: Gluten free

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 3

Calories: 486kilocalories

Instructions

  • Before you do anything else, take your butter out of the fridge and let it sit for a bit to soften. It should be very soft.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once simmered, add at least one tablespoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt in the pot. More than a tablespoon is encouraged!

  • Cook your pasta al dente according to package directions, making sure to reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. If using fresh pasta, boil it very quickly, then drain it and reserve the pasta water.

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the uni (about 18 pieces) and use a whisk to mash the uni into what looks like uni puree. Try to make it as smooth as possible before continuing. If you want, you can use a food processor for this.

  • Add the softened butter (Β½ cup or 8 tablespoons) to the bowl of puree, then use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until completely combined. The end result will be a pale orange butter mixture, it should not look streaky or runny.

  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5 minutes, just to firm up slightly.

  • Return the cooked pasta to the still hot pot, but removed from the heat. Add about β…“ of the plain butter to the hot pasta and stir vigorously to combine and emulsify. Add about ΒΌ cup of starchy pasta water while mixing.

  • Repeat this process until all the uni butter is emulsified into a uni sauce, using as much or as little pasta water as necessary.

  • Add about 1 tablespoon of yuzu juice or lemon juice.

  • Stir to combine.

  • Taste and, if necessary, add salt and black pepper to taste.

Remarks

  • If you’re not sure what uni tastes like, you can add a little heavy cream in the last steps of this recipe to thin it out a bit more. However, a good quality plain should have a very mild and pleasant taste.
  • For a pasta dish with only a few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients is very important. Splurge on a high quality butter (something like Kerrygold or better) and opt for a good quality plain. Your college tray should be a light, orange color, with little or no fading.
  • Always, always, always use kosher salt in these recipes. If possible, opt for Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt!

Nutrition

Calories: 486kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 32g | Saturated fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated fats: 2g | Monounsaturated fat: 8g | Trans fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 2577mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 948UI | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

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