This Uni Toast recipe is super easy so I thought I would tell you a little about my favorite fish market, where I purchased the fresh uni. If you find yourself in the beautiful coastal city of Portland, Maine, you have to visit the Harbor Fish Market. This is cold water seafood at it’s best and even if you don’t like seafood, I bet you’ll find something here you do like (they sell Rosemont Market’s french bread baguettes at the counter) If you are a seafood lover, well then…you just walked through the gates of heaven.
Portland is one of my favorite cities because:
- It’s on the water
- It’s a fantastic walkable city
- It has some of the best farm-to-table restaurants around
- It has numerous top breweries nearby
- It has the Harbor Fish Market…
With all that Portland has to offer, this fish market is pretty much the main reason why I go visit. Yeah, it’s all that or so much more. Their selection of oysters is astounding, the scallops are the size of your hand, and the fish is unbelievably fresh. Like, right outta the water fresh. Most everything is local to Maine or the New England area and is labeled with the point of origin so you know exactly what you are getting.
Huge scallop on the left (yes, that’s my hand, not a child’s) and fresh raw tuna on the right. If all these pictures haven’t convinced you at this point that this place is the best fish market ever, then it never will.
The day we visited, the market had fresh uni (the Japanese name for sea urchin). I’ve bought it here before in the shell but this time, it was already shelled and ready to eat. Winning!
Uni has a firm texture and is normally served raw. Bite into it and it’s smooth and creamy with a sweet, slightly briny flavor. I love it. I ate at least half of the uni raw and decided to make a butter out of the rest so I could slather it on toasted slices of the Rosemont french bread. YUM!
See the pieces of uni in the butter? That’s good because the uni will just melt into the bread.
Uni butter is simple and easy to make: basically you take butter, fresh uni, and a touch of sea salt. Keep it covered in the refrigerator and use it in place of regular butter over the next– days. Use it for scrambled eggs, stir it into sautéed veggies, top a grilled steak or seafood, add a tablespoon to cooked pasta/rice/mashed potatoes, or just make some good ol’ bread and butter or in this case…uni toast.
Ain’t nobody got time for counting calories when eating bread, so be generous with the uni butter, my friends.
Uni makes toast better. I know it’s a little weird but sometimes you have to try new and strange ingredients. Also, the uni butter can be frozen, so you don’t have to eat it all at once and you have 3 months to try it out on other foods.
If you have a chance to pick up some fresh uni, try making some butter and this delicious Uni Toast. And next time you are in Portland Maine, don’t forget to visit the Harbor Fish Market, or seek out the best fish market in your area.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted grass-fed butter, softened
- 1/4 cup of fresh uni (sea urchin)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 french bread baguette , cut into 1" slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives , minced (optional)
Preheat oven broiler. In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, uni, lemon juice, sea salt, and Tabasco. Spread butter generously on the bread slices and broil until lightly brown (about 1-2 minutes). Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.
Leftover uni butter can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap tightly in freezer proof plastic wrap or freezer storage bag.
Makes 1/2 cup