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First Urchin


Okay, let me preface this by saying it's not my first urchin; it's the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf's first urchin. After seeing The Hundred Foot Journey last week, D has been asking when I can get some sea urchin so that he can cook it.

If you haven't seen The Hundred Foot Journey, you should. And then you'll know what I mean about being inspired to cook with sea urchin.

Not knowing where to start, I asked my friend whose family owns a sushi restaurant. We texted back and forth this afternoon and she told me to bring D in to taste some urchin tonight. They were getting a shipment in a little bit after 5pm. Perfect. So, we drove over there before we headed to Trader Joe's for some groceries.

I have to admit: I almost hoped that he didn't like it. I can't say that I have ever really liked urchin, though, admittedly, I can't remember the last time I tried it. So, out it came on a small dish and an even smaller spoon. D eyed it suspiciously. I think - maybe - he thought it was going to come whole. Spines and all.


He brought it close to his mouth and gave it a sniff.


He pulled a small piece off with his teeth, squished it around in his mouth, and gave me a thumbs up.


Okay, it's on like Donkey Kong. I'm beginning to wonder when these boys are going to be able to get jobs... to pay for their expensive palates.

As we savored the urchin, he talked about what he wanted to cook. His impressions: "It's sort of like biting into a water balloon filled with sea water. It's firm on the outside, but when you bite into it, it all gushes out."

He continued, "The good taste overthrew my gag reflex. I know exactly what I want to make with it!"  He envisioned a sea urchin soup made with Indian spices and coconut milk.

My impressions: it was amazing...tons better than I remembered it being. It was simultaneously creamy and briny. It's a mouthful of contradictions. It's definitely intriguing. So, I ordered some for their next shipment and, then, we'll be making D's Indian-inspired Sea Urchin Soup. Stay tuned...

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