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Sea Urchin – am i missing out?

Hi chowers, i have only tried this once, at Sushi 930, figuring the quality of his other fish was high so this might be a good idea. All I know is some people love it and others hate it just as much, my impression was near gagging, was very musty tasting and stuck with me for days, the texture wasn't an issue though it was served on rice, what I'm wondering is if I got not so good or even bad Uni, and if so, where i can try a good one. I often see it included on tasting menu's and I don't want to fear it showing up on my plate if I just had bad luck with it so far...thanks in advance...

Cheers

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  1. I'm definitely in the "love it" camp. The first time I had uni it was very fresh, actually the chef basically cracked the shell and served it to us. That was the ultimate in creamy, briny melt in your mouth flavour.

    Edit: That said I remember a lot of people at this dinner didn't like it. I also have a vague recollection of scavenging it off my dining companions plates. Chowhounds have no shame....

    I have never again had it that good but it absolutely not taste musty and I suspect the stuff you had was past it's prime. I've a good uni at Japango and Nami.

    1. I love uni! though admittedly i was hesitant to try it because of the texture, the taste was incredible. creamy, slightly sweet even...mmmm. I'd definitely give it another try, as Mila suggests, Japango and Nami should be trustworthy, there's other places, but unfortunately I can't think of any at the moment (it's not something I eat that often, I like to make it a special occasion item)

      1. The phrase "stuck with me for days" makes me think it was rancid. Uni is rather rich, but the flavor shouldn't be strong.

        1 Reply
        1. re: graydyn

          Yes, "musty" is not an adjective I would apply to FRESH uni! If you like other roes and don't find them icky, you should have no problem with uni.

          A responsible sushi chef should alert you if the uni is not absolutely fresh. Not so responsible ones should tell the truth when asked. Bad ones wouldn't know themselves!

        2. We had some gorgeous, fresh uni at Starfish... served still in its shell (although I'm not sure this is a regular offering).

          Personally, I don't care for the stuff but will try it every couple of years. Mr. Rab, on the other hand, loves sea urchin and eats it for breakfast when we're in Japan (ew).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rabbit

            I'd eat it for breakfast twice weekly too if I could. But in my experience it is a love it or hate it kind of food. "Do you like uni" was a regular question from junior high students when I was teaching English in Japan years ago. Apparently the love it/hate it thing extends to denizens of the Land of Sushi as well (even when it's half price :))

          2. Aaaah the cream puff of sushi. Highly recommended for the sensous experience. No, it should never be musty. I've had good versions at Take Sushi, Daio, and Kumai. Omi never served it. Zen doesn't seem to include it in their omakase although that may just be luck of the draw.