Orange Is The New Snack
When visiting Michelin star restaurants, servers always ask “are there any dietary restrictions?” to which I always reply, “sea urchin.” Its not that I’m allergic to our spiny little sea friends, I just really don’t like the mealy texture and taste. However, in an effort to fully challenge my palette on the crawl I hesitantly requested sea urchin for my second course at Jungsik on Monday night. After all, it is one of their signature dishes and is their homepage image on their website.
When my server Jackie brought us our second course, I thought back to all the times I had tried the stuff before. A neatly sauteed sea urchin on a bed of crispy quinoa and seaweed rice was placed before me and I boldly grabbed my sturdy silver chopsticks. I took a deep breath and with one bite I realized that not only could I tolerate sea urchin, I was completely in love with this dish. The fried quinoa balances the dish with a tempura-like flavor and delivers a scrumptious end result. I am happy to report that I have forever crossed over to the orange side.
Chef Jungsik Yim has a restaurant in Seoul and one in the heart of Tribeca in New York. His parents must have predicted a successful culinary future for their son as his name in Korean means “fine dining.” And fine it is, highly deserving of its coveted two Michelin stars. Be sure to visit them and definitely take a chance on the urchin. Worth every bite.