Sea urchin ice cream at Grand Central Oyster Bar. Credit: Provided
Januz Noka runs the confection counter at Grand Central Oyster Bar (89 E. 42nd St.), and has been in the post for more than two decades. His menu tips its hat to the classics, but he’s fused the restaurant’s briny focus with dessert for sea urchin ice cream. He shared his recipe for the umami-rich dish in celebration of National Ice Cream Month.
Sea Urchin Ice Cream
Ingredients 2 1/4 cups whole milk Pinch salt 2/3 cup sugar 6 egg yolks 2/3 cup heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds 1 tray or about 10 whole sea urchin roe (uni or Rizzi)
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and salt. Heat over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Set aside and cover to keep hot.
In a blender or food processor, blend the sugar, soy sauce, ginger and egg yolks together until very thick and smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the hot milk.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon.
Remove the pan from heat and set it in a bowl of ice water. Stir for 2 minutes to cool the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
In a deep bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the custard mixture. Fold in the sea urchin roe and sesame seeds.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.