Recipe: Sea Urchin Spaghetti

I was in the mood for something really decadent yesterday, so when fresh sea urchin (uni) caught my eye at our local Japanese grocery store, Little Tokyo Marketplace, I really couldn’t resist getting some. I decided to make a sea urchin pasta dish, something kind of similar to the sea urchin spaghetti at the restaurant Chaya in West Hollywood.

It was amazing!! As soon as I finished my plate, I wished I had more. But, at $6.99 a package for sea urchin, this is going to remain a special occasion recipe.


  • 2 servings of gluten-free spaghetti (I’ve still been using M&S gluten-free pasta that Jon brings me back from England)
  • 5 whole cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes (approximate)
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
  • package of sea urchin (you can get this at most Asian markets that sell fish)
  • leaves from about 6 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • salt

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

While waiting on the water, pour the olive oil into a large frying pan (the pan will have to be big enough to hold the pasta later). Add the garlic and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the garlic cloves caramelize. You’ll want  to flip the garlic cloves every few minutes, so that all sides are caramelized evenly.

Next, add the chili flakes to the frying pan, turn the heat up to medium, and saute until crispy, about two minutes. Next, add in the cherry tomatoes, and cook until just wilted. Set aside.

When the water in the pot boils, add a generous spoonful of salt and the spaghetti, and cook until barely al dente. Drain the pasta, setting aside one cup of the pasta water for use later.

After you’re done cooking the pasta, add about 3/4 of your sea urchin to the frying pan with the tomatoes and garlic. Turn the heat back on, add a generous splash of the reserved pasta water to the pan, and saute until the uni is blended into the water. Then, add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, and mix it into the sauce. Then, add the parsley, and mix. When ready to serve, place spaghetti on a plate with the remaining sea urchin as garnish. Enjoy!

Recipe is adapted from here.

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