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Dec 20, 2011 09:19 PM

Sea urchin fresh from the uni factory

If you're like me then sea urchin is one of the Best Things. Creamy goodness from the sea with a certain durian/chocolate-like psychotropic element on top causing addictive tendencies. Hard to find very fresh (which is how it must be), and expensive to boot at sushi restaurants.

Here's my "secret" source....Sung Fish co. (1795 Pandora St. ) ( for the next few months it is in season.)

If you don't mind buying 10 lb or so you can buy it whole and live on the days they are cracking (around $2.50/lb), but it's a bit of a toss-up how much and what condition the uni inside the shell will be, and how much will be water. And cleaning it is a real mess.

Or you can get it cleaned and sorted in trays (around $30 for a large tray of B grade, which is what I usually get).

Or if you *really* like uni you can get a 1 kg+ box of seconds (basically all the broken or discolored bits they can't put into trays, piled into a small cardboard box) for $30 which will make all the uni cones or nigiri pieces you and your uni-loving friends could ever desire..(don't even think about eating it all's way too much even over a few days). You need to talk to Mrs. Park @ (604) 255 4718 and she will tell you when you can come by.

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    1. re: grayelf

      bring cash...I don't think they are set up for credit card payments or interac in the urchin office downstairs. They are often open late (till 6 pm) processing uni and you can go in the back loading dock if the upstairs office is locked. If you go the day they are processing it will be fresh straight out of the urchins. I've been through 2 boxes in the last couple weeks and may have to start cutting back...

      1. re: jcolvin

        Sea Urchin Anonymous? Thanks for the additional details, I'm loving the clandestineness.

      1. Since you are of the TRULY OBSESSED I can trust you to enlighten me:
        Coming to Van Thursday night and leaving Sat. What is not to miss during this time?

        3 Replies
        1. re: JayDK

          My obsession revolves mainly around tasty things from the sea. My lists of don't misses are mainly particular seafoods; spot prawns, qualicum scallops, Queen Charlotte razor clams, west coast mussels (SO much better than those from PEI, sorry eastcoasters), fresh uni. I'm not much use in recommending particular spots to enjoy these since I tend to buy or pick/catch them and cook/prepare them myself. But for mussels I'd certainly recommend Chambar.

          1. re: jcolvin

            Great! Love spot prawns and scallops. Are they available now?

            1. re: JayDK

              Qualicum scallops yes fresh from some fish shops (finest at sea usually has them, and the shop at east end of Granville Market, amongst other) and many of the better restaurants use them too. Spot prawns mostly only frozen at this time of the year (although I did see some pricy live ones at T&T). Beware: once you try Qualicum scallops there's no going back to wet-pack east coast ones.

        2. FWIW - uni/sea urchin can also be purchased fresh off the boats at Steveston's Fisherman's Wharf. Haven't done it personally so don't know how it compares.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Florentine

            There was no Uni for sale last Sunday but that can always change.

            Check the Steveston Harbour website for Sales Float updates.


            1. re: Sam Salmon

              Are we still looking for the boat called "Kuroshio"? (It has been a while.)

              1. re: fmed

                Haven't seen a uni boat there for a while I know Kuroshio stopped coming

          2. Thought I would ping this thread and see if there are any great places to get Uni these days? I think the season is starting as I had some amazing uni sashimi the other night.

            Is Sung Fish Co. still alive and well? Are there new and exciting places to get fresh uni? I'm in the Valley so if you know of any out this way please share.

            Thanks ahead of time for any info.