HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Do you create unique foods?
TELL US

Sea urchin trays at Diana's

grandgourmand Nov 6, 2012 10:43 AM

Can anyone testify to the quality of Diana's sea urchins? I want to make a pasta dish that requires a fair bit of it and was thinking of heading up to there to pick some up. Otherwise, any alternative vendor suggestions are welcome.

thanks

  1. a
    auberginegal Nov 7, 2012 08:43 AM

    i've had this a couple times before but not within the past year. my recollection was once it was not great (the pieces underneath that you can't see in the container until you unwrap were not as big and/or were damaged) and once it was decent (nothing compared to good fresh uni but for the price was fine). i would still try them again, but i've never used them in a recipe like for pasta. good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: auberginegal
      grandgourmand Nov 7, 2012 04:56 PM

      thanks...pasta recipe is just olive oil a tiny bit of garlic and chilis i'm thinking a tray of those sea urchins...just heat it all through and then toss in some spaghetti and make sure its all coated.

    2. p
      plug Nov 7, 2012 09:50 AM

      i thought it was good the time's i've had it.

      Get the pacific uni and not the atlantic.

      2 Replies
      1. re: plug
        g
        gogomiser Nov 7, 2012 02:14 PM

        TnT sells uni at the sushi bar.

        1. re: gogomiser
          c
          caitlink Nov 7, 2012 04:44 PM

          I buy mine from galleria.

      2. Charles Yu Nov 7, 2012 07:09 PM

        Taro Fish IMHO is still the most reliable source. Go Thursday when new batch arrives for the weekend. Can even find both East Coast ( smaller size ) and West Coast ( larger pieces ) varietal if you are lucky!!

        1. PoppiYYZ Dec 3, 2012 06:11 AM

          Saw a pile of trays at Diana's a month or so ago. They had just come in and were excellent. Obviously freshness is key, so ask when they will be coming in and buy/eat them the same day if possible.

          Two of us ate a whole tray in two days. Sushi style and the Michael White (of Marea) method :

          Baguette cut on a bias and lightly toasted. Brush with a touch of butter or light EVOO/butter combo. Place two urchin pillows on top and lay a thin (I mean very thin) slice of Lardo on top and melt briefly in warm oven on a rack or hot pan (to keep toast crisp). Eat and faint.

          Takashi in NYC also does a Nikko Uni appetizer : seaweed sheet topped with a slice of raw wagyu beef, perilla (shiso) leaf and urchin. Absolutely amazing and can be easily created at home if you can find the other ingredients.

          3 Replies
          1. re: PoppiYYZ
            Flexitarian Dec 4, 2012 10:56 AM

            I have never had sea urchin but your 'eat and faint' comment makes me want to run to Diana's right now and get some! I scuba dive a lot and see them all the time. I didn't even realize they were edible.

            1. re: Flexitarian
              r
              radiopolitic Dec 4, 2012 12:14 PM

              When I'm near the Aegean I go with some friends and collect em out of the water. I like a very classic, simple preparation.

              Out on a plate drizzled with good quality olive oil, lemon juice and warm fresh bread to mop it up.

              I've been really lucky to spend many an idyllic afternoon just lounging about doing this in years past.

              1. re: Flexitarian
                PoppiYYZ Dec 12, 2012 10:50 AM

                Ha ha,

                Go get 'em Flexitarian, but be sure to call ahead and find out when a fresh shipment is arriving.

                I was diving off Panama on the Pacific side (Contadora Island), and the ocean floor was COVERED with black urchin. Sadly I wasn't sure they were safe to eat in such warm water and I didn't try them.

            2. Charles Yu Dec 4, 2012 09:44 AM

              How much is Diana charging for their tray? I saw both East coast ( smaller size ones ) and West coast ( bigger size ) trays at the 'Galleria', Steeles/Yonge location for $19.98. Their delivery date is every Monday. Based on packaging, looks like Galleria, H-Mart, T$T, Taro Fish all get their's from the same supplier! Difference is the 'mark-up'!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Charles Yu
                PoppiYYZ Dec 12, 2012 10:44 AM

                Sorry for the late response Charles,

                I paid about $15 for a tray of 10. They were large, plump, and fresh Pacific (they called black) urchin.

                1. re: Charles Yu
                  Googs Jan 4, 2013 09:02 AM

                  As you well know, Charles, the same supplier doesn't necessarily mean the same supply. It depends on the relationship between buyer and seller.

                2. Winking Judge Jan 4, 2013 08:47 AM

                  Another uni use, but you may need to take out a mortgage...

                  Complements of Brooklyn Fare :

                  Brioche, caviar, uni, black truffle. Stupid good.

                  Good luck finding good, reasonably priced caviar in TO, but if you are in NYC, Russ & Daughters (often) has Imported and US farmed Osetra for about $100 for 50 grams. Both very very good.

                  BTW, baguette also works.

                   
                   
                  Show Hidden Posts