This savory dish that’s served after the sushi courses at Money Cat in Houston was developed by pastry lead Sarang Marek, who starts by heating together cream, milk, Santa Barbara sea urchin (uni in Japanese), the restaurant’s passion fruit ponzu sauce, sugar, and salt until it just starts to steam. Then she whisks in gelatin and blends it all together with Greek yogurt until it’s smooth. That mixture is poured into a stone-shaped silicone mold and frozen.
Once the panna cotta is set, it’s unmolded and placed in a specially designed bowl meant to resemble a sea urchin. The panna cotta is topped with chopped wakame seaweed, passionfruit ponzu jellies, trout row, and micro basil. That’s garnished with crackers made with nori seaweed, flour, salt, water, and oil. The dish is finished with a piece of fresh Hokkaido sea urchin and a gentle blast of cherrywood smoke.