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Feb 11, 2012 09:06 AM

Sea Urchin for Purchase (not at a restaurant)

Does anyone know of any place in Austin that I can buy fresh sea urchin? I'd really like to try my hand at a sea urchin pasta dish, but can't find a place to get it.

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  1. Here in CA I source it at Japanese or Korean markets. Sold on a wood tray. Mind sharing your recipe?

    1. The only places in town I'd imagine would have it would be MT or Han Yang. I'd call them and ask...

      Maybe a better option would be to contact a sushi bar. Most of them get uni flown in; they might be willing to order a little extra for you. The people at Umi Sushi are really friendly, so maybe that'd be a good place to try. You could of course call a fancier place like Uchi or Musashino to see if they've got some advice. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing you'd commonly see in a grocery store... it's got a short shelf life, and as anybody who's had not so fresh uni can tell you, it's baaaaaaad if it its around too long.

      1 Reply
      1. I looked for this at all the Korean stores and MT a few weeks ago. None found. The only place left to try is the new place up on Parmer/Metric. I even tried Seoul Koren Grocery - which tunrs out not to be grocery store any more. I oepned up the door and saw/heard some obnoxious guy on stage and that split second was enough to tell me I don't need to be there.

        Fresh is out of the question probably. If you do find it, it will be "fresh" after you thaw it out :-)

        There was also a yelp thread on this a week or two ago with no results.


        3 Replies
        1. re: sqwertz

          Yeah, that's why I was suggesting the idea of a sushi bar... even if it's flash frozen, what they get is probably the freshest you'll find, but you may be able to find the real deal. The problems you'll deal with are: 1. Finding a restaurant that is willing to order you some in addition to what they normally get (sometimes places are surprisingly nice in this department, but it's anybody's guess) 2. Hopefully they won't gouge you too much on the price and 3. You might end up with way more than you need.

          As ingredients go, I've gotta say... I'm sorry, but that's a really tough one.

          1. re: popvulture

            does dk sushi still have its market?
            that could be a good option, if you call ahead.

            1. re: dinaofdoom

              They still supposedly sell some fish, but from what I saw in the brief opening and closing the door, it couldn't be much. I couldn't bear to be in there any longer than 2 seconds with some obnoxious guy screaming something in the microphone (that wasn't a song). I think somebody else mentioned in another thread that what I experienced was likely the owner (Thursday night 8pm, North Lamar). It was formerly Seoul Korean Market, right? Or was I at the wrong place?


        2. You're going to have to ask one of the top Sushi places, Uchi, Tomo, Musashino. I don't think any of the markets carry it as its something that goes bad very quickly and a whole case is quite costly thus limiting its market. I think its actually better if you search for it online, I know there are several seafood online suppliers that carry Uni and have them ship them to you as I think that will be fresher than buying it in a market.

          There are 3 types of Uni typically served in Austin Sushi restaurants, Santa Barbara Uni, Atlantic Uni, and Hokkaido Uni. I have a preference for the Santa Barbara or San Diego Uni as it tends to be sweeter. The closer proximity as compared to Hokkaido also usually means the Santa Barbara stuff is fresher.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lixlix

            Thank you all for the great recs and ideas.

            Here's the recipe I found that I want to try:

            1. re: foodiegal71

              wow, that sounds (and looks) amazing.