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May 17, 2007 11:09 AM

Cheap uni

Where can I get some cheap uni? I am open to any method of obtaining/eating it….whether its eating at a restaurant, buying it buy those small boxes, or buying the whole sea urchin and extracting it my self.

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  1. Citarella often carries them whole and will do the extraction for you. V. cheap - can't remember the price though.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I have tried them and though they are cheap, the quality is not that great. Uni is one of those things that quality comes with price. Cheap uni usually are bitter and off-taste, not a very enjoyable experience.

      Same thing with the ones in boxes that they sold in Sunrise Mart - low quality.

      1. re: kobetobiko

        Have to confess - I don't eat uni myself - so going purely on my husband's eating them. Good luck - and if you do find a source you like, please post back so that we can check it out as well. Have you tried seeing if Wild Edibles will order them for you? They tend to have v. high quality fish, and are amenable to special orders.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          I agree that cheap uni is not worth it. The first time I ever had uni, I almost gagged! It was at a Japanese restaurant on St. Marks (in the tourist zone). For years, I thought uni was the nastiest thing in the world and would never order it. I then had the courage to try it again at a higher-end restaurant and fell in love.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            I also have to add that I was at a well-regarded Japanese sushi restaurant last week and ordered uni. They give you a sheet in the beginning where they mark whatever the chef says is really fresh in red. Uni wasn't marked in red, but I ordered it anyway because I love uni so much and did not think that they would carry anything terrible in a restaurant of that caliber. Well, while not dirty underwear quality, it wasn't very good. Some of the other fish pieces I ordered that did not have the red mark were perfectly fine. But it seems that uni is quite delicate.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              which restaurant is that? a sheet with crib notes sounds great.

              i had a very nice serving at kyo-ya last week, $22 for a generous heap in a very cute serving, bafun uni (portland, ME); it had in the one serving 2-3 different textures, different parts of the tray perhaps, which was nice.

              1. re: bigjeff

                It was Yasuda. Yeah, that sheet really helps with ordering. I generally try to order the sushi that's marked in red, but I have a real problem saying no to certain items like uni.

                I've never been to Kyo-Ya but it's on my list. Thanks for the tip. I'll be on the look out when I'm there for the uni.

          2. re: kobetobiko

            oh my god I saw those boxes at sunrise recently. really really disgusting. they were on sale for $7.99 but basically; big gray blobs that exploded onto the wooden plank. gross.

            1. re: kobetobiko

              Next to Oysters I think Uni is the number one product where quality and price definitely show a correlation. Raw for home prep or prepped in a sushi joint, if the uni is cheap it probably tastes very cheap.

              1. re: uhockey

                You are SOO right. I got some $12 box of Uni, and it was horrible.

                Never again.

          3. I once asked a similar question, and one suggestion was to take it out of Manhattan and go straight to the source where many retaurants get their wholesale.


            I haven't tried it, but it certainly looks cheap, even with expensive shipping. The hard part is being at home when the delivery arrives.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Gluttonous Prime

              I have ordered from catalina when I lived in the West Coast (Palo Alto). While the uni was sweet and delicious, the packaging that they used wasn't really that great, and I will have high doubt on shipping from the West Coast to NYC. Unless you are planning to buy in bulk (which means you need to consume a lot in a day or two as uni does not freeze well), with the shipping and hassle, you may as well just order it at a restaurant

              1. re: kobetobiko

                Ah, thanks for the info. It did seem too good to be true...

            2. Just wondering if anyone knows if good uni is available at the fish market in the Bronx?

              1 Reply
              1. re: wlark

                They often have it at Randozza's on Arthur Avenue - but I'd call ahead if going up there is a journey of any length for you, just to be sure.

              2. Excellent uni lunch at soba ya on east 9th street. Freshly made soba noodles with a small serving of uni on top and some sides for ~$20. Well worth it and the quality was high... sweet, delicate, and gooey...mmmm.

                1. Not that it will help you any......

                  But I was wading off the Maine shore and felt something spiny
                  I bent down into the water and retrieved a few uni....
                  That is something I would like to do again

                  I cracked them open and ate them (the edible parts) on the spot