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Extracting Urchin and Quail Eggs with Riffle's Ken Norris

Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.


Oyster shooters are for amateurs. At the Pearl's newish seafood spot Riffle NW, chef Ken Norris offers a haute version of the raw favorite, featuring Canadian red sea urchin and a raw quail's egg. The composition requires a series of careful incisions and extractions: With scissors, Norris makes the first cut along the urchin's bottom "access panel," collecting the five unfortunately named gonads (aka urchin roe) with his fingers. Next, the top of a raw quail egg is carefully sheared off with a knife, to drop the whole egg into a glass — the uni is then gently placed on top with a pair of tweezers. To finish it off, Norris adds an ounce of previously strained "tomato water" and a pinch of sea salt. The dish's delicate construction process contradicts its method of eating: Knock it back like a shot and let the gonads components mush together in the mouth.
· Riffle NW [Official site]
· All Previous Riffle NW Coverage [Eater PDX]

Riffle NW

333 NW 13th Avenue, Portland, OR Visit Website