Ever wondered about Uni?

uni sushiUni – you either love it or you hate it, there is no in-between!

Do you enjoy uni but not really know much about it? Join the club :)

Here’s the basic info you’ll need to enjoy eating this delicacy. For more info, read our page about uni / sea urchin roe.

Sea urchins come in several variations, and can be colored black, green, purple, red – maybe other colors as well.

Always try to eat the uni from the pacific; they are widely regarded as the best tasting varieties (California and Chile specifically) and the populations are generally considered to be in better shape than Atlantic sea urchin stocks.

The sea urchins are cut open and five sections of uni are removed. It’s not actually the sea urchin roe, that’s a misnomer, but let’s not dwell on details here.

To judge the quality of the uni you’re served take a close look. Fresh uni should be bright in color. Bright yellow or bright orange that is. Fresh uni will be firm too, if it’s watery mush then it’s past its prime.

Finally the taste – if it tastes bitter it’s been sitting around too long. It should taste sweet and buttery, if you’re lucky a bit nutty as well.

Uni starts to deteriorate immediately, and within days has turned into a bitter tasting goopy mess. Restaurants that buy uni on friday and serve it all week long should be avoided. Or at least don’t order it during the week!

People usually eat uni as gunkanzushi (those little sushis wrapped around in nori) with a tiny bit of wasabi and soy sauce. It’s not uncommon to see uni served with quail egg too, although it does tend to mask the flavor a bit.

The next most popular way to enjoy uni is to eat it as sashimi, usually on a piece of cucumber or a shiso leaf.

fresh uni sushiSushiPRO word for the wise – the very best uni in the world comes from Southern California. These are big sea urchins with wonderful tasting uni. They’re usually harvested by hand and are preferred by sushi lovers in the US and Japan.

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