AT A GLANCE
"Sea urchin is in its best condition when the water is cooler," says Moyle. "The water temperature in Tasmania can rarely be accused of even bordering on comfortable, but the autumn-winter months are when urchins take full advantage of the cold currents. The quality of the urchin in this dish is of the utmost importance - they can go from being the best thing you could possibly eat to the contrary in a heartbeat."
|01||Place chicken wings, pig’s trotter and chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat, to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until well flavoured (45 minutes to 1 hour). Add vegetables and simmer until soft (15-20 minutes; they should yield easily when softly touched, but will firm up for serving once chilled), then add katsuobushi and soy sauce, check for seasoning, remove from heat and add konbu. Cool to room temperature, then transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a bowl, strain the stock over and refrigerate to chill (3 hours).|
|02||To serve, spoon vegetables and a little of the now-jellied stock into serving bowls (any remaining stock will add beautiful flavour to other dishes and can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months). Brush each sea urchin lobe with a little vinegar using a pastry brush, arrange over vegetables and serve chilled.|
Note Katsuobushi, dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna, is available from Japanese grocers. If it's unavailable, substitute bonito. To prepare sea urchin, either snip carefully around the tip, as if taking the top off a boiled egg, or chop it down the middle to open. Remove the five fingers or lobes of roe, wash briefly in cold salt water and remove the thin black membrane covering each lobe. You can also buy sea urchin cleaned from fishmongers. You may need to order it ahead.
SAKE IS BEST. WE SERVE THIS WITH OTA SHUZ “DOKAN” UMESHU FROM BLACK MARKET SAKE.