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Jun 30, 2008 01:37 PM

looking for uni (sea urchin)

So lately I've been ending my meals at Toraya with a nigiri Uni, a delectable treat of sea urchin roe atop a hot bed of rice and wrapped in seaweed...since then I've been wanting to eat uni more often and also maybe in other formats than nigiri. Does anyone know of places in the area to get really good uni in any form, sushi, at a fresh market, as an appetizer? Thanks!

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  1. To start, this thread from a few months back should give you a number of good ideas:

    1. Kotobukiya market at Porter Square sells small boxes of uni (maybe 50 pieces) for around $9, a previous Chowhound thread also said that Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge sometimes has live sea urchin.

      1. it was my understanding that Uni is out of season in the summer - I've been told that the season is similar to oysters: "out of season in all months that have the letter R in them. " (ie, May, June, July, August - stay away from them). So, good restaurants may not serve them if they are out of season.
        I love uni too! I could be wrong, but I've always lived by that rule. Good luck anyway!

        1. Uni is usually available all year but it comes from different sources depending on the season. The two main sources in the USA are Maine and the west coast, mainly the Santa Barbara area. I love Uni and have eaten it served in many different ways but sometime you should try it served nigiri style but with the addition of a raw quail egg yoke (Uzuru no tamago) on top. It is truly delicious and any good sushi bar should be able to serve this.

          2 Replies
          1. re: RoyRon

            i am a fiend for uni.

            sea urchins from maine are not very good this time of year, although available. most places will be carrying the pacific variety right now, which is different- milder in flavor and softer in texture. i've never been to a sushi restaurant that doesn't carry it in one form or another. uni with quail egg and shiso leaf is just to die for.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              two preparations i like are uni nigiri with hamachi wrapped around it instead of nori, and uni rolled up in salmon belly and then seared Nobu "new-style" (drizzled w/ smoking hot oil, sesame oil, soy, frizzled leeks). but surely Uni (at Clio) must still do the uni w/ green apple wasabi foam and nori croquant?

          2. O Ya has some incredible sea urchin. Best I have ever had, I believe it was from Japan, it came in a cute little wooden box with characters on it. I can't remember exactly how it was served but was quite strong and was very prominent in the dish they served.