sea-urchin-uni

What Exactly Is Sea Urchin uni?

September 17, 2020

sea-urchin-uni

Sea urchins are invertebrates related to starfish and sand dollars. They have spiny spherical shells that enclose five segments of bright yellow-orange gonads.

 

For those who have no idea what they are, they’re actually the part of the sea creature we eat. You may also know them as their Japanese name, uni, since the country accounts for about 80 percent of global consumption.

 

Obviously, sea urchins live in the sea, where they feed on algae and kelp, and are harvested by divers every single day. Their flavour relies on a variety of factors, such as diet, age, habitat, and species. Even though there are 950 species of sea urchin, only a few of them are commercially harvested. Sea urchins are often identified by colour, which gets confusing since so many of them are shades of red, purple, and green.

 

Sea Urchin Nutritional Information

Something very interesting about sea urchins is that one 3.5-ounce sea urchin contains 1.83 grams omega-3 fatty acids, which substantially supports our heart and brain health. Sea urchins are also a great source of zinc and protein, a mineral that helps the immune system and assists healing wounds.


Some Typical Sea Urchin Varieties

 

  1. West Indian Sea Egg is a very common Sea Urchin Uni meal and eaten raw or fried in the Caribbean and western Africa.
  2. Stony Sea Urchin, otherwise known as rock sea urchin or purple sea urchin, is generally eaten in the Mediterranean, where it’s known as riccio di mare.
  3. Red Sea Urchin, otherwise known as giant purple sea urchin, is the most commonly available urchin at seven inches in diameter. Its colour spans from red to burgundy, and it’s found on the Pacific coast from Baja California to Alaska.
  4. Green Sea Urchin, otherwise known as northern sea urchin, used to be largely harvested in Maine, where it’s now considered overfished. The smallest commonly available urchin, at two inches diameter, are harvested in Canada.
  5. Pacific Purple Sea Urchin is smaller than red urchin at three to four inches in diameter and abundant on the Pacific Coast, especially California, where it’s threatening kelp forests.


What Does Sea Urchin Taste Like?

Sea urchins are actually made up of amino acids, sugar, and salt, giving them an interesting salty sweetness. Much like oysters, Sea Urchin Uni tend to taste like where they came from - the ocean - and even the seaweed they feed on. Ironically, male uni actually has a smoother texture than female uni, but all good urchins should have a buttery and heavenly texture - a unique flavour that has been compared to eggs, lobster, and fish roe.

 

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Sea Urchin Harvest sells premium Sea Urchin Uni & Sea Urchin Roe from Australia’s iconic east coast. All of our Uni is caught fresh and delivered fresh to you! If you have any questions about ordering Sea Urchin Uni for your commercial business please get in contact via the Contact Us Page or alternatively call us on 0414 441 136.




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