Sushi - Sushi Roe - Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin (Uni)

Hemicentrotus puicherrimus

 Also see: Sea Urchin Sushi in Sushi Menu

Sea urchin tastes the best during mid summer. They are ready to mate and the gonads are the biggest during this time. Interestingly, both the male and female gonads are used for sushi, or any other cuisine.

There are only slight differences in color tone between the male and female gonads and as for the flavor, there is not much of a difference between the two. The orange color of the sea urchin can change according to what the sea urchin fed on (usually seaweed), so it is very difficult to distinguish whether it is a male or female gonad.

A good sea urchin is difficult to choose. Unlike a fish, it must be opened and tasted, since some of them are bitter and unpleasant. This is why they are first opened and tasted by the fish market, and then sold on small trays. Sushi restaurants usually do not buy them alive and do not place them in water tanks for the chance of some being not presentable.