I was beyond excited when I found out that Cambridge would be getting its own H-Mart (Korean grocery store). Really? Finally! Super convenient access to a wide variety of fresh Asian vegetables, tofu, various types of sashimi, soup bases, etc.
Altough we don’t really cook that much Korean food at home (with the exception of a few dishes I’ve learned through the years), I’m still excited at the prospect of a big Korean market near me because, typically, they also stock tons of Japanese ingredients.
A couple weeks ago, my extended family traveled to Los Angeles for a summer trip. While we were there, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Matsuhisa, Nobu’s original restaurant in LA (post coming, hopefully soon!). Bryan and my brother-in-law, Mike, ordered uni shooters.
According to both of them, it was one of the best uni shooters they had ever had in their lives.
So of course, when we got back to Boston, what’s the first activity we did together?
Make uni shooters, of course.
Mike, who’s Korean, (you’ve seen his awesome Korean recipe on this blog before), headed out to various places (mostly H-Mart in Burlington) to pick up necessary ingredients. A bottle of sake, fresh uni (sea urchin), fish eggs (you can get orange or black – he just prefers black), quail eggs, and ponzu sauce (not pictured). He also gathered some baby scallions from his backyard garden.
One you have all your ingredients, it’s really not hard to put it all together to make this shooter. Seriously, after procuring all the ingredients, the most challenging part is probably separating the quail egg yolks from the whites, which is harder than the same task on a chicken egg. If you have an egg separator, you might want to try using it here!
Start with a nice little shot glass and add 2-4 pieces of fresh uni. Honestly, the order is not crazy important, but we added sake and then the yolk, but reverse is probably not a bit deal either.Adding Liquids: This part is a bit subjective and we definitely played around with various ratios (although we didn’t exactly measure anything!). As a general rule, add enough sake to cover the uni, and then add a “splash” of ponzu sauce (like a teaspoon or so?). Too much ponzu will make it unbearably salty. Of course, this will depend on the brand of ponzu sauce you buy as well, as they vary in saltiness.
You definitely want to try to use good ponzu sauce. Ideally, try finding one from Japan that includes real yuzu, (not just lime or lemon), such as this one.
Add garnishes, like finely chopped baby scallions, chives, and tobiko (fish eggs). Mike likes black tobiko, which is a bit more expensive (I think our pack was a little under $10), but the orange kind you typically find works just as well.And then serve!
I seriously thought it was fantastic. Here’s my reaction as I drank my first home-made one.
2 “flats” of uni (12-15 pieces per flat?)
1 dozen quail eggs
1 bottle of sake (300 mL) – [Mike’s favorite cheap brand]
1-2 tsp finely chopped scallions
1 package of tobiko or other fish eggs (about 4 oz?)
optional – tabasco sauce
1 bottle of ponzu sauce with yuzu
Add 3-4 pieces of uni to the bottom of a shot glass. Add enough sake just to cover the uni (about 1/3 up the glass). Separate the yolk from the egg of the quail egg (easier said than done! If you have an egg separator, use it!). Add the yolk. Add a splash of ponzu sauce (if you like you drinks saltier, you can add more – this is sort of subjective and dependent on how salty your ponzu sauce is). Top with tobiko and chopped scallions.
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