By Tsz on November 28, 2011
Fans of Nobu Matsuhisa or uni in general may have come across the uni tempera. For those who haven’t seen the light, it’s seriously one of the most amazing preparation of sea urchin ever invented.
When they’re done right, they are out of this world with a hot crispy exterior thanks to the tempura batter and warm creamy interior thanks to the uni. Think fried ice cream (savory that is) to the nth degree!
What’s even better is it’s easy to recreate them at home as it requires little else other than fresh ingredients and a few steps. In fact, I made this with my friend just a few days ago for an uni-centric picnic and it was a breeze since almost every step can be done a head of time.
Or, if you can’t wait, depending on how far you live from the nearness fish monger/Japanese market, you can indulge in them within an hour. So, I urge you to go give them a try and let me know what you think!
Uni Shiso Tempura with Lime Salt (adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook)
12 pieces of the best quality uni you can find
12 Shiso leaves
4 Sheets nori
1 Tb flour
1 cup flour
1 cup ice water
1 Tb corn starch
1 egg yolk
1 Tsp lime zest
1 Tb fleur du sel
Key lime wedges
1. Cut nori sheets in three lengthwise and set aside. In a small bowl, mix 1 Tb flour with 1/4 cup water—that’ll be the “glue” for your packets.
2. Wrap a piece of uni with a Shiso leaf, then wrap the packet with a piece of nori. To seal the edge, draw a line with the “glue” on one end of nori and lay the packet with the seam under. Repeat until all the uni has been secured.
3. Set the plate of uni packets in the freezer for 20 minutes. Do not skip this step! This is the most important part as it keeps the packets in shape before frying as well as preventing the uni from being overcooked later on. We want the uni to warm after frying but still stay virtually raw (or rare depending on your preference).
4. While the uni is chilling, mix the lime zest with the sea salt and set the mixture aside in a saucer. Make the tempura batter by whisking the flour, water, corn starch and egg yolk together in a mixing bowl. Er on the side of lumpiness rather than smooth as you don’t want to over beat the mixture.
5. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until it’s at the right frying temperature. Drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil to test—if it bubbles and floats immediately, it’s ready.
6. Take the uni packets out from the freezer. With chopsticks, dip a packet into the batter and place gently in the oil. Fry 2 to 3 packets at a time. When they float and the batter takes on a pale color, you’re good to go! Drain them on paper towels and enjoy with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of lime salt.