This is a rich and creamy uni pasta recipe that you won’t have to ration uni with every bite like you do at the restaurants! Sea urchin in every. single. bite. We take this uni pasta to another level with homemade pasta too.
Sure, making uni pasta at home takes some effort. But for me, I can get it exactly how I like it and if you make enough to serve at least four people, it is less than half the cost of the restaurants’ dishes.
I’m not going to lie I used to hate uni. I think I started trying it at some sushi restaurants where the fish wasn’t the best grade so it was really a hit or miss experience. Or maybe it was just an acquired taste. In either case, I LOVE this stuff now.
I first had ‘uni pasta’ at a local fast-casual seafood joint in Los Angeles named EMC. Never had it, didn’t know what to expect, but it was an delicious surprise. On every visit we’d always shared one plate of it with mulitple people and we’d all daydream about the next time we could have it again.
They’ve sinced opened multiple other locations in Southern California which we’ve tried. It’s still decent, but it’s expensive and there always seems to be not enough uni in it. I wanted to make my own.
We get our uni from a local Japanese market named Mitsuwa, which are fairly common throughout California. Each one of these has a food court with my favorite ramen everr–Santouka.
But anyway a tray of these is usually $16+. We hit the jackpot on the last trip and got four trays of these at $10 a pop!
Boxed, dried spaghetti or angel hair pasta will work just fine for this recipe. If you want to step it up a notch, like we did, make your own fresh handmade pasta for this dish.
We’ll start with a jar a pressed garlic in oil always stocked in the fridge. If you add too much, the garlic can kinda take main stage here, verging on the taste of my garlic noodles recipe. Lightly brown the garlic on medium low, then pour in the cream when they’re done to cool down the pan.
Ya know how there just never seems to be enough uni at the restaurants? Uni’s expensive and I’m sure it eats into their margins to add this much. I’m pretty sure EMC puts roe in the sauce, which I’m ok without. I’d rather just add more uni.
Once the cream is warmed up and reduced a bit, add a couple scoops of uni, saving your best looking ones to top the bowl at the end.
Really mash it up in there and warm it in the cream a bit. Then add your fully cooked pasta (see my recipe for homemade pasta) into the pan and toss to coat. Here’s a great time to adjust the seasoning after you taste a few noodles.
Ahh that noodle lift. Creamy, and full of uni. Are ya hungry yet?
Serve these in your fanciest bowls or plates and top with the good lookin uni pieces you reserved until the end. Note there are multiple forks. It’s delciious, but it’s pretty rich, so this is a great dish to share!
What does uni pasta taste like?
Um delicious! Uni pasta tastes like a rich and buttery pasta covered with ocean-like creaminess.
Can you cook uni?
Uni can be eaten raw or even cooked, like in this pasta. I would recommend only buying uni from grocery stores that sell sushi grade products.
How much does sea urchin cost?
Sea urchin costs are dependent on various things like current supply and demand for uni, where the uni comes from, if the uni is fresh or frozen, etc. Sometimes I find about a tray of uni (about 2 oz) on sale at our local Japanese grocery store for about $15.
Is it safe to eat raw sea urchin?
I only eat raw sea urchin that is sold in grocery stores that have sushi grade products. The Japanese grocery store I go to always has fresh uni available.
What are the benefits of eating sea urchin?
Uni Pasta Recipe (Creamy Homemade Pasta w/ Sea Urchin)
- 1/2 lb dried spaghetti or angel hair pasta OR...
- ~3 nests homemade pasta taglioni (similar to spaghetti), laminated to thickness of 5. Approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the recipe on that post.
- filtered water if you only drink filtered water, you should only be cooking with it too!
- salt for boiling pasta
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tray uni approximately 20 pieces
- salt as needed, to taste
- Boil water in a medium sized pot on high, add enough salt so it tastes like the sea
- Add the pasta to the water, let the water get back to a boil then drop the heat to about medium, so you maintain a low boil. Fresh pasta takes around 2-3 minutes, dried pasta will take longer. Just taste a noodle every 30 seconds or so and remove slightly before you think it's ready, since it will keep cooking from residual heat. Drain and do not rinse. Set the pasta aside and prepare to use it immediately.
- Put a medium to large pan on medium heat and let it warm up a bit. Add the oil and garlic, and lightly brown the garlic for a minute or so.
- Once you're ok with the garlic not browning any further, pour in the cream and let it simmer for a few minutes to warn and reduce a bit to thicken.
- Add all the uni you like, reserving about four of your best looking pieces to top the bowl at the end. I added about two large scoops of uni. You can adjust this based on how much pasta or cream you add too.
- Add the pasta into the pan, and let it warm up a bit. Toss to coat a few times. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
- Serve into two medium bowls, or one large bowl for sharing. Top with the remaining uni and serve.