With a taste both delicate and musky, sea urchins, or uni, as they are often called, are prized for their singularly delicious taste and their smooth texture. Ranging from dark yellow or burnt orange to purple in color, they make for a dramatic presentation on the plate. While not always easy to get, once you do, there is a wide range of delightful preparations for these savory sea creatures. Try swirling them into pasta, pureeing them into a velvety sauce, or simply enjoying them raw atop nigiri to get a true taste of this luxury from the depths. No matter how you choose to enjoy your uni, we’re certain you’re going to love the fantastic flavor of these delightful sea urchins.
Our freshly cracked uni is opened and scraped out of its spiny shell with care, going through the entirety of its delicate cleaning process before being hand-packed in saltwater. The ratio of salt to water in this brine is carefully measured so that it mirrors the salt content of the ocean exactly, and is called Ensui. By holding the fresh uni in salted water, we can maintain that same briny taste of sea urchin that’s just been harvested. Positively bursting with fresh ocean flavor, our uni contains no preservatives, chemicals, or additives that might harden its delicate texture. Simply salt and water keeps these uni at the peak of freshness.
When ready to eat, simply pour your uni into a colander to strain. Do this carefully to prevent damaging your sea urchin. We do not recommend rinsing your uni with tap water before eating, instead allow all the brine to strain out and serve or use as is in your next dish. The sweetness of the uni counterbalances the salty brine and makes for a truly special eating experience.
Yielding but not mushy, fresh uni should keep its shape. A conversion of textures, it should melt in the mouth yet have a bite to it sort of like tofu. There are four commonly found varieties of uni: Aka, Bafun, Ensui, and Murasaki. While each of them is delicious, they all have their own individual characteristics and flavor profiles. Of the four, Ensui Uni is widely considered to be the best tasting of them all. Kept in its ocean-like brine, it is able to maintain its natural taste and texture perfectly and has a distinctly sweet taste.