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Shield your eyes before you look at Empellòn chef Alex Stupak's uni-on-uni taco, for it is totally glorious.

Taco benders will never be the same, thanks to Alex Stupak’s seductive guide to Empellón-grade fare at home. The pollo and carnitas are as solid as ever, but look beyond the expected and you’ll be well rewarded with fresh, inventive spins wrapped in homemade tortillas. Your neighborhood taqueria workers will miss you, but if they saw this sea urchin–studded creation, they’d understand. 

This taco was born out of a shared opinion among my cooks and friends that a tortilla is as worthy of precious ingredients as any piece of Raynaud china. When I thought about making a sea urchin taco, I knew that working it into guacamole would magnify the briny sweetness the spiky creature is known for — the fat in an avocado can help stretch and carry flavors just like a knob of butter. Its lobes (sometimes called “tongues”) show up three times in this taco: mashed with avocado, piled on top of the guacamole in a bright orange heap and combined with chipotle and lime juice in a simple salsa. The sea urchin and avocado have a similar luscious texture, and biting into this taco is a bit like face-planting into a just-fluffed pillow or planting a raspberry on a fat baby’s belly.

It’s over-the-top opulent, the kind of celebratory dish that everyone deserves an occasion to eat. When the time comes, you’ll need a ton of urchin — 156 tongues. Many fishmongers and Japanese grocers (who call them uni) sell them preshucked by the tray, so you won’t have to mess with those spiky shells.

Reprinted with permission from Tacos