The fascinating thing about sea urchins is that it’s hard to think of an animal that is so highly prized as a culinary delicacy, yet has such a small edible portion of its body. Sea urchins are not tiny creatures, but the only part we eat is the roe*. Sea urchin tastes incredibly rich and complex: the very definition of umami. Sea urchin dishes across the country are generally pretty pricy and Boston is no exception. The following four dishes may not be cheap, but they sure are tasty.
•Clio wins our award for “Most Decadent Use of Sea Urchin” for their sea urchin and lobster cassoulet, which comes with parsnips, crispy shallots, and candied lemon. We can’t think of much we’d rather eat on a cold winter’s night.
•At Neptune Oyster, the sea urchin is served raw and accompanied by fried chickpeas, grilled eggplant, cucumber, mint, and a vinaigrette, for an absolutely insane flavor profile.
•O Ya serves their sea urchin as sashimi alongside shima aji (yellowjack). It’s topped with a ceviche vinaigrette and some cilantro, ssupertasters beware!
•The Japanese name for sea urchin is, of course, uni, so it’s not surprising that Uni has an excellent sea urchin dish on its menu. The roe is served with ginger gelee and purple rice. Delicious and pretty!
*: This is, in fact, a misnomer: while the edible part of the sea urchin is commonly referred to as the roe, it’s actually the animal’s gonads on which we chow down.