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Where to buy Uni/Sea Urchin?

Other than Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge and the porter square market?

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  1. Kotobukia in porter actually closed. I heard rumors they were going to open up again in Medford sq, but I haven't seen any evidence.
    Reliable market in Union should have uni all the time, in their newly expanded sushi section. And new deal will have it pretty often. Also, on Washington in the Souh End is Morse
    Fish which might have uni occasionally.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gabreality

      I go to Morse Fish twice a week and haven't ever seen uni there.

    2. I see this quite often at H-Mart in Burlington, though it's probably not the most convenient place to get to. I think I saw this at Ebisuya in Medford too, but I don't get there much and can't say how regularly they have it.

      BTW, if by "porter square market" you mean Kotobukiya in the mall, then that place is gone, replaced by the Ebisuya I mentioned.

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      H-Mart
      3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

      2 Replies
      1. re: kobuta

        Ebisuya in Medford has uni regularly. Ebisuya is the "new" Kotobukiya in that it is run by former Kotobukiya employees and is the largest Japanese market in the MA area.

        1. re: kobuta

          I think it's actually on sale at H-Mart this week...I rushed thru quickly yesterday, but saw the sign in the window...

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          H-Mart
          3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

        2. I always buy a pack of uni from Reliable Market in Union Sq...its almost always great but I've had a couple of misses...maybe those who know their uni could tell quality just by looking but I'm only an amateur.

          1. I rarely buy it but Ebisuya, Reliable and H-Mart would be your best bets, as mentioned. I've had it freshly shucked and served in the shell, it's quite different this way and hard to "settle" for less. The way the little spines of the roe stand up when fresh and the color is more appetizing to me. It is very expensive this way and typically, only found at not even the best sushi restaurants in the U.S. but at some of the finer Kaiseki type places as part of the sashimi course.

            On the ghetto gourmet cooking front, I do keep a small jar of prepared uni paste in the fridge, a regular Japanese condiment you can get at Ebisuya. While it's of course nothing like fresh, it is umami overload and I will sometimes make a uni pasta with it. Usually you have it with rice. It is also sometimes mixed with jellyfish. It's relatively cheap and keeps a long time, since it's kept with a bit of alcohol. It can stay as long as ghee, for sure, and that's one recipe I use for pasta.

            I've even made cocktails with it, although I'm really bad at mixing drinks, I'm sure a clever bartender could do a neat martini with it. Or does that sound totally gross, an umami martini?

            8 Replies
            1. re: tatsu

              maybe with some Old Raj saffron gin?

              1. re: barleywino

                sounds neat, can I call it The Tatsu-tini? Question is, who's going to be my drink sous-chef?

                1. re: tatsu

                  or the Uni-tini...maybe substitute Tuthilltown 100% Corn Whiskey for the gin...sweet corn and uni, what could be better?

                  1. re: barleywino

                    Ok, how about this?

                    Tatsu-Uni-Tini

                    1 pitted green olive, perhaps Manzinilla.
                    1 thin stick of Daikon
                    1 piece of Santa Babara Uni

                    carefully use a toothpick to make a hole in the center of uni. place over the hole of the olive. insert daikon stick through the uni and secure in the pit hole of the olive. secure with toothpick if necessary (cut the daikon so it fits snug in olive preferably.)

                    Martini Mix
                    1 part Saffron-infused Gin
                    2 part Luksusowa Vodka

                    0.25 part dry Junmai sake

                    Mix Gin and Vodka traditionally with ice. Pour. Place uni/olive/daikon preparation into glass, spritz Sake on top. Garnish with Shiso micro-flowers.

                    1. re: tatsu

                      nice! although i'm trying to imagine how the olive would play with the uni...how about a very thin slice of lemon :) Some rich-style namasake might work very well too (more umami!) and garnish with some ikura

                      1. re: barleywino

                        hmm i was think the same. i was thinking to sub in a torched sugarcube sized rice ball.

                        1. re: tatsu

                          and float a tiny boat made of nori on top ;)

                  2. re: tatsu

                    It's the next step in the evolution of bartending after oyster shots and fizzes.

              2. I've heard of New Deal having some beautiful boxes of California Uni; the kind they serve at O Ya

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                O Ya
                9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

                4 Replies
                    1. re: justbeingpolite

                      A lot of the orange/yellow sea urchin we (in the US) eat comes from SB..sold in little wooden or boxes or plastic trays. According to a fish dealer i know, it is "almost" as good as Japanese at a fraction of the price. Mike at Concord Prime should ne able to get it on a day's notice.

                      Maine has a sea urchin industry and in season, Carl at New Deal sometimes has them in the shell.

                      Chris Cheung from Uni..now AKA Lincoln used to have live in shell SB flown in..

                      I've had a white flesh sea urchin in the Caribbean. It was much milder and was used n sauces but I don't think much export value. I still ate plenty of it..:)

                      1. re: 9lives

                        In speaking with Carl, I actually got the impression that he only sources local Maine uni, and not the SB stuff. But this was several months ago. Always worth calling.