Oysters with Sea Urchin Roe

“The more oysters you eat, the more you’ll learn to recognize your favorites. I’m a fan of briny oysters, so I usually buy northern varieties from Maine, Cape Cod or Canada or West Coast oysters that are cultivated in relatively cold water and thus have a similar flavor to North Atlantic Oysters.

When you buy oysters, make sure the shell is tightly closed. Unlike clams or mussels, which are usually all right if they gape a little, oysters must be tightly sealed or they will dry out. Watch also how the oysters are displayed. They should be kept flat on a bed of ice or in a refrigerator—if they are left topsy-turvy in bags, their briny juices will run out. When you get your oysters home, arrange them in a refrigerator on a backing sheet or platter so they stay flat. Make sure they are upright with the flat shell on top. NEVER soak oysters in water in the way that is sometimes recommended for getting the sand and grit out of mussels and clams. Depending on how fresh they are to begin with, oysters will keep up to a week in the refrigerator, but I always try to use them as soon as possible.” ~ James Peterson

Preparing Oysters and Sea Urchin

Shucking Oysters

“When confronted with an oyster, you first have to shuck it. This takes a little practice until you get the knack. In order to shuck, equip yourself with an oyster knife with a blade about 3 inches long and a strong wooden or plastic handle. The blade should be blunt.”

Removing the Uni (Roe) From a Live Sea Urchin

“When preparing sea urchins, the goal is to remove the bright orange roe. The roe can be eaten raw (atop oysters it’s fabulous, below) or it can be pureed and added to sauces—as illustrated later over baked halibut.”

Preparing Oyster Stew & Sea Urchin Roe Sauce Over Fish

Oyster Stew

“I like this little stew because it’s quick and easy to prepare, it’s elegant and understated, and it’s absolutely bursting with the flavor of the sea.”

Creating the Sea Urchin Roe Sauce

“To use the sea urchin roe in a sauce, take the fresh shucked uni and work it through a strainer with the back of a wooden spoon, illustrated here:”