Sea Urchins from Quintay with Black Luga, Chagual, and Vegetable Milk

From one of Latin America's most avant-garde chefs, this recipe uses uniquely local Chilean ingredients.

Boragó – one of Latin America’s most avant-garde spots – is helmed by the brilliant Rodolfo Guzmán. He is known to imagine and execute over 500 highly unique recipes (like vegetable “cheese”) each year from native products he finds foraging on the seaside or in the wild Atacama desert. In this recipe, Guzman features erizo, better known as uni or sea urchin. In Chile, the sea urchins are known for their large, meaty tongues, which don’t sacrifice any flavor. – Editor’s Note


Adapted from Borago: Coming from the South by Rodolfo Guzmán courtesy of Phaidon. Click here to purchase your own copy. 

INGREDIENTS

For the aged sea urchins

  • 1 sea urchin
  • 300 g fine sea salt

For the citric vegetable milk

  • 50 g Chilean palm tree coconuts, shelled
  • 100 g almonds
  • 1 g rue leaves
  • 5 g lemon geranium
  • 2 g fine sea salt

For the sea urchins

  • 3 sea urchins from Quintay
  • 400 g seawater
  • 200 g ice cubes

For the steamed chagual

  • 3 kg whole chagual
  • 1 g fine sea salt

For the black luga

  • 200 g black luga
  • 10 g lamb fat
  • 10 g olive oil

To serve

  • 8 fresh tender yuyo stems
  • 0.25 g katsuobushi-style mackerel
  • 0.5 g Cahuil fleur de sel

Serves 4

Preparation

For the aged sea urchins

Cure the sea urchin by covering it with the salt and letting it sit at 39F (4°C) for 4 hours. Then rinse off the salt and dehydrate at 150F (55°C) for 12 hours.

For the citric vegetable milk

Bring a pan of water to a boil, and add the Chilean palm coconuts and the almonds. Boil for 5 minutes. Then drain them, and with the help of a cloth, remove the skins. Place the coconuts and almonds in a large bowl of water and soak at room temperature for 12 hours. Drain the coconuts and almonds. Combine them with 700 g water and blend at very high speed in a food processor. Add the rue leaves, lemon geranium, and salt, and grind for around 10 minutes—the mixture forms a white liquid with a milk-like texture. If the mixture thickens too much, add more water, little by little, until you obtain the desired texture. Strain the mixture into a bowl, taking care to remove any foreign bodies from the vegetable milk; if necessary, strain again until the mixture is absolutely smooth.

For the sea urchins

Open the sea urchins and remove the roe with a spoon. Bring the seawater to a boil in a pan, then chill it to 39F (4°C). Strain the water that is inside the sea urchin and mix it with the seawater; add the ice cubes. With utmost care, let the sea urchin roes stand in the cold water for 1 minute just before serving, until they appear tight and firm in texture.

For the steamed chagual

Remove and discard the most fibrous leaves from the chagual. Cook the tender chagual leaves in a bamboo steamer for 20 minutes. Then let it cool and cut it into thin slivers; toss with the salt and refrigerate.

For the black luga

Cut the black luga into rectangles measuring 4 x 2/3 inches (10 x 1.5 cm). If they are not in their reproductive phase cook them in abundant boiling water for 4 minutes. If they are in their reproductive phase blanch them. Strain and submerge in an ice bath. Melt the lamb fat and emulsify it manually with the olive oil. Let the cooled black luga sit in this mixture at room temperature until serving.

To serve

Arrange the sea urchin roes in the centre of each plate. Arrange the steamed chagual on one side, and place the yuyo stems, 80 g black luga, and the olive oil emulsion over the chagual. Grate the dehydrated aged sea urchin and the katsuobushi-style mackerel just before serving. Mix them together in equal proportions and sprinkle over the salad. Pour the citric vegetable milk over the salad, and sprinkle fleur de sel on the sea urchin roes.

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