Uni is sushi made with meat harvested from sea urchins. Now, if you Google a picture o f a sea urchin, it may not strike you as something edible. But in fact, it is considered a delicacy.
Sea urchins are most commonly found along America’s west coastline. They resemble a porcupine on the outside, but the true treasure is the yellow gold meat on its inside. The meet is separated into lobes, and ideally each lobe fits onto a piece of sushi. The color is dependent on the urchin’s diet and gender (yes, it has a gender; I know it doesn’t look like it does). Once harvested the color represents the freshness of the meat. In harvesting, the meat is so delicate that it can fall apart. Broken lobes do not hold the same value.
The top grade of uni has a sweet taste and buttery consistency. Uni is not only used in Japanese cuisine atop sushi but also in Korean and Chilean cultures. Other recipes for uni include uni custard, hors deovres and sauces. If you ever get the chance to cook uni, be mindful that it loses its taste quickly if overcooked. At only 120 calories per 3 pieces of sushi, uni is pretty healthy.
For those of you attending Sweet Sexy Ocean, you will get the chance to try uni for yourselves!