8th November 2012

Risotto with sea urchins and clams

By MaitreMarcel

I saw ‘oursins’ on the market, sea urchins. They look like spiky purple balls. Usually the fish monger has opened one up to show the orange “tongues” that are eaten. This way you can see the freshness. As with all sea food, the further away from the water, the more perishable it is.
Some people eat them raw, some with eggs, I made a risotto.
I happened to have a head of cod in the freezer and made a fish stock from that, with onion and fish stock herbs, otherwise you can make it from fish bones, left over fish or you can buy a cheap fish like catfish.
I added clams and some peas for the vitamins and colour effect.


  • 200 grammes Arborio rice
  • One litre of fish stock
  • 200 ml of white wine
  • Two shallots
  • 200 grammes of clams
  • Three sea urchins (or more if you like)
  • 100 grammes of frozen peas
  • Olive oil, butter
  • Saffron


  1. Dice the shallots, put butter and oil in a heavy pan and let the onion brown slightly.
  2. Add the rice, stir until the rice is becoming slightly translucent, then add the wine. Stir until evaporation.
  3. Lower the temperature and add the fish stock. The best way is to add small quantities and stir until evaporation before adding more, and continue for some 20 minutes. I add relatively much stock so that I can do other things in the kitchen while the rise is cooking, still stirring from time to time. I added saffron for a yellow colour.
  4. Open the urchins with the help of a pair of scissors. Take out the orange bits, called coral, and put them aside.
  5. Wash the clams and put them in a small pan with some water, heat until the clams open. Set aside. When cooled down, take the clams out of their shells.
  6. About five minutes before the end, add the peas to the rice mixture.
  7. When the risotto is ready, the rice should have a creamy texture but not be liquid. It should coat a spoon. Taste and add salt and or pepper if needed.
  8. Add the sea urchins and clams, stir and serve.