Sea Urchins Australia

About Sea Urchin Harvest

Sea Urchin Harvest delicately selects and processes the finest and freshest selection of premium sea urchin roe.

Sea Urchin Harvest is an award winning Australian family owned business who are experts in diving, processing and selling fresh Australian Sea Urchin. We're located in Tomakin on the South Coast of New South Wales, where an abundance of premium sea urchins reside.

The delicate but large Australian Sea Urchin Uni found along this coastline has a significant natural sweetness which is very unique to the NSW South Coast. 

 

What We Sell

Sea Urchin Harvest proudly sells the freshest and tastiest Australian sea urchin uni. We have a range of delicious Australian sea urchin products, including:

 

Sea Urchin White Uni Australia

Despite its name, Australian Sea Urchin White Uni actually isn’t completely white. It’s spine is whitish but can often be brownish at the base, and the shell can be variably pale-coloured, from greenish or yellowish to brownish. The spines of the sea urchin uni are different lengths, the diameter of the test reaches 9cm while the height is only 3cm.

The whitest Australian sea urchin uni is a subtidal species found to 1600m deep, and inhabits rocky areas.

Customer Testimonial

Ernest: "I love love loved this sea urchin uni! Literally felt like it came out of the ocean minutes before i ate it!"

 

Creamy Pods Sea Urchin Uni Australia

We like to call our Creamy Pods Sea Urchin Uni in Australia the absolute freshest Australian sea urchin uni.

Creamy Pods Sea Urchin Uni is simply delicious, maintaining the creamy sweet delicate flavour of fresh sea urchin uni unique to the NSW south coast.

When cracking the Australian Sea Urchin, the roe is cleaned and sorted into grades, and any broken pieces are used for our Creamy Pods tubs. These are best consumed as a snack, or chirashi, soup, fried rice, or creamy pasta for dinner.

Customer Testimonial

Hueng: "Had these as part of my dinner last night with fried rice, was so good! I am in loooooove!"

 

Ensui Sea Urchin Uni Australia

The taste of Winter Ensui Sea Urchin Uni in Australia is as if you were at the beach, freshly cracking the Australian Sea urchin Uni open right there and devouring it.

The freshness and the creamy sweetness of the Australian Sea urchin Uni is sure to melt away in your mouth. Sea Urchin Harvest’s Australian sea urchin Ensui has been considered one of the best way of packaging Uni in the winter months. After the Uni is cracked open and cleaned, it’s returned to saltwater (Ensui).

This method ensures and maintains the most natural taste and texture of Uni, in brine. This product is purely natural. Drain salt water and eat as it is. Sea Urchin Ensui is best consumed in: sushi, chirashi, soup or as a creamy pasta for dinner.

Customer Testimonial

Raisa: "The Ensui is so good wow!!! Couldn't believe how fresh it tasted, so yummy!"

 

8 Interesting Sea Urchin Uni Facts

1. Sea urchins used to be called sea hedgehogs.

2. There are over 200 types of sea urchins but only a small bunch are eaten by us humans.

3. The five plates that surround the mouth and the innards are called “Aristotle’s Lantern’. This is because Aristotle wrote a book entitled, “The History of Animals”. In the book, he describes the mouth a sea urchin looking much like a lantern.

4. Uni is the Japanese name for the edible part of the sea urchin, not the sea urchin itself. In other words, uni refers to the edible orange lobes found within the urchin.

5. These lobes are actually the animal’s gonads, which produce roe/eggs. Each sea urchin contains five ‘lobes’.

6. Uni is graded based on colour, texture, and freshness. The highest grade (Grade A) is a bright yellow/gold with a firm texture and sweetness. Grade B uni is a duller yellow and has a softer texture and is less sweet. Grade C uni is referred to as ‘vana’ and is often the parts left over from uni that has broken apart during processing or handling. As you've probably gathered, the higher the grade, the higher the price.

7. Uni actually has many health benefits. A 100g portion of sea urchins contains 172 calories and very little fat, and this fat is mostly unsaturated fat. Sea urchins also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can assist in lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of an abnormal heart beat.

8. Scientists have discovered that uni contains a “euphoria-causing chemical” ingredient similar to what you find in marijuana. Said ingredient is a chemical neurotransmitter called an anandamide, also known as arachidonoylethanolamide or AEA. Some say that this is why uni tastes so good.

How To Eat Sea Urchins in Australia

Sea urchin uni is enjoyed in many ways—both raw and in prepared dishes. Due to it’s delicate taste, they are best served with foods that have a neutral flavour, such as pasta or toast. People usually have a difficult time describing the taste of sea urchin uni, they typically say it has a sweet, yet subtle, fresh-from-the-ocean flavour and is often compared to oysters.

How to Dive for Sea Urchin Uni in Australia

If you’d like to eat fresh sea urchin uni without paying restaurant prices, you can actually dive for your own!

Sea urchins are commonly found in rocky coastal areas and have small tube feet that help them cling to rocks. In addition to basic diving gear, bring along a knife or a pair of gloves to help you pry the sea urchin uni from the rock. You’ll want to avoid sea urchins that are pitch black in colour. Rather, always look for sea urchins that have hints of green, purple, and/or red. Black sea urchin uni often appear in photos, but this is more for decorative purposes or as a result of bad lighting.

How to Prepare Sea Urchin Uni in Australia

The key to enjoying fresh, delicious sea urchin uni is to separate the orange meat from the internal walls of the spiny shell. These five orange pieces in the sea urchin uni are actually the reproductive organs of the sea urchin uni.

Keep in mind that not all sea urchin uni is created equal. You’ll likely notice that the sea urchin uni looks and tastes differently depending on which part of the world you’re in. There are 18 edible varieties and their meat differs in texture, taste, and colour.

In order to protect yourself from the spikes of the sea urchin uni, gloves are highly recommended. If you have no gloves, be very cautious. When you are ready, gently pick the sea urchin uni up.

Next, create a hole in the underside of the sea urchin uni using scissors, a knife, or a spoon. Allow the liquid to drain out and slowly cut a circle in the bottom part of the sea urchin uni shell. Remove the base of the sea urchin uni and carefully take out the black, internal pieces—this part is not consumed.

You can also gently rinse out the inside of the sea urchin uni with running water. Once you’ve cleaned out the inedible parts of the sea urchin uni, focus on the five orange pieces attached to the top of the shell—these are what hold the sea urchin uni's delectable flavour.

Lastly, using your fingers or a utensil, gently scrape out this part and voila! The sea urchin uni ready for eating or preparation.

How to Enjoy Sea Urchin Uni in Australia

The most common way to enjoy sea urchin uni is by eating it raw, similarly to how one would enjoy oysters or sushi. Adding butter or lemon juice to sea urchin uni is a great way to enhance the natural flavour.

Chefs around the world also use sea urchin uni as a way to add a unique twist to traditional dishes. In the Mediterranean, chefs serve sea urchin uni as an addition to pasta. In some places, they’re served with butter and toast. The possibilities are endless—sea urchin uni can be a flavourful and savoury substitute for lobster, shrimp, and other popular seafood!

Eating bad sea urchin uni can seriously affect your experience. Sea urchin uni should taste like the ocean, but it should never taste fishy. If it does, it’s probably gone bad.

Tips for Eating Sea Urchin Uni in Australia

  • Green sea urchins are the most popular for eating.
  • A sea urchin uni sting is painful, but it’s not dangerous. 
  • White wines make a great compliment to raw sea urchin uni and sea urchin uni dishes.
  • Like oysters, sea urchins are considered to be a strong aphrodisiac.
  • Sea urchin sushi generally doesn’t use the freshest sea urchin uni available. For ultimate flavour and freshness, enjoy sea urchin uni as soon as it leaves the water.
  • Sea urchins are occasionally eaten alive for maximum freshness.

How To Cook With Sea Urchin in Australia:

Surprisingly, only a very small part of the sea urchin is eaten – the 'gonads' or sex organs, which run along the inside of the shell. With a sweet and sea salty taste, sea urchin is an ingredient which divides opinion and is prized as much for the smooth texture as its taste and aroma.

As with all seafood, it's important that the sea urchin is fresh, which can be best indicated by the smell. They're usually sold alive, and you can sometimes see the spines gently moving.

If you're handling a small sea urchin, use a good pair of kitchen scissors to cut around the 'equator'. When dealing with a larger sea urchin, it's most common to puncture one end, and then cut a small circle of shell out of the bottom, so that the majority of the shell stays intact.

Drain any dark-coloured liquid and then scoop out any other brown-black substance inside the shell. Sea urchins are five-fold symmetrical creatures, with five yellow-orange gonads running up the inner wall. These look like little tongues, both in shape and also in texture. Rinse out the shell now to have a clearer view.

Use the spoon to gently scrape the orange gonads away from the edge of the shell and then rinse them in fresh, or salt water. If they aren't being served right away, then ensure that they stay chilled and used as soon as possible.

In terms of pairing this delicacy with other flavours, think of Australian sea urchin uni as you would caviar. They both have a delicate flavour with salty-oceanic notes. As with caviar, sea urchin is often simply spread on a biscuit or a piece of toast to showcase the flavours without any distraction. In Japanese cuisine, it's common to use sea urchin to top plain nigiri sushi or stirred into plain noodles. 

Even though Australian sea urchin uni is a fun ingredient to experiment with, it's possibly at its best when enjoyed in its purest form, which is eaten straight from of the shell.

     

    Brand Point-of-Difference:

    What makes Sea Urchin Harvest so special and popular is our method of diving for our Australian sea urchin and packaging them on the same day. This ensures ultimate freshness, as if you're taking a bite from the ocean itself.