Grace Nguyen is obsessed with Uni (Sea Urchin Roe)


It’s a texture thing, I think—and that it tastes just like the ocean. It’s so refreshing to me. My boyfriend Chad [Newton, chef at Fish & Farm] doesn’t like it at all, but I order it wherever I see it. One of my favorite preparations is Lissa’s staff meal, on the menu at Ame: cuttlefish noodles, tossed with uni, wasabi and a quail egg. Perfection. Generally I prefer it chilled, in the Japanese style, maybe over rice, which is how they serve it at Katana-ya—but at Okoze, a sushi restaurant near my house, they do an oyster shooter with sake, quail egg and uni that I like a lot. Anchor & Hope serves uni on top of potato puree with a lemon beurre blanc—the textures are so similar and the dish is so rich, but I just love it. And at Namu, where I sometimes go after work, they wrap uni inside a shiso leaf, dip the bundle in tempura batter, fry it and serve it with ponzu. It’s crunchy outside, creamy within. Good stuff.


Where to get it:

Ame, 689 Mission St., 415-284-4040,

Anchor & Hope, 83 Minna St., 415-501-9100,

Katana-ya, 430 Geary St., 415-771-1280

Namu, 439 Balboa St., 415-386-8332,

Okoze, 1207 Union St., 415-567-3397

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