What Is Uni, And Why Is It So Delicious?

by Bokksu Staff

Uni may as well be considered edible gold. It is one of those luxury foods in the same category of caviar, lobster, and oysters. Uni is harvested from sea urchins found on the ocean floor. It is one of the few remaining delicacies that are harvested wild from the wild. An expensive but delightful morsel of food, its high cost is due to the fact that harvesting uni and cleaning sea urchins to reach uni is no easy task. The high price that a small amount of uni fetches can be attributed to a combination of difficult harvesting, limited wild quantities, and high demand. 

Uni Sea Urchin

But what is uni and why all the fanfare? Within sea urchins are five slightly firm strips, the uni, which is sometimes referred to as sea urchin roe. The five strips within the sea urchin’s shell are usually orange or yellowish. Like other luxurious delicacies, uni is considered to be an aphrodisiac. But people’s affection for uni stems from its unique taste. When consumed raw uni has a smooth and custard-like consistency, though more rich and buttery. It has a slightly sweet and briny flavor, which can vary from the region of harvest, freshness, and even gender. 

Given its price point, uni is consumed on rare occasions. It is usually served raw and prepared as uni sashimi or uni sushi. It can sometimes make an appearance on menus as a creamy uni pasta dish or as a garnish on top of chawanmushi, a silky smooth savory steamed egg custard. 

Uni Sea Urchin

Now you can try uni too and without stepping foot outside your home. Bokksu Boutique now carries Kokubu’s Tinned Uni. Step aside tuna, this canned uni is not your average tinned seafood. The uni is canned using a special process to preserve the salty umami flavors of the uni and suspended in a rich consomme broth. Maker, Kokubu has over 100 years of canning history and a reputation for sourcing and using the finest high-quality ingredients. Uni-lovers and foodies alike will rejoice when they taste the fresh-tasting briny uni pieces.

Kokubu prepares its premium tinned seafood to be eaten as otsumami, snacks meant to accompany alcoholic beverages. These Uni Rice Crackers by Bonchi are another delicious Japanese snack to accompany your uni and beverage of choice. These fried rice crackers have a fluffy crunchy crisp and are full of umami from their uni and soy sauce flavoring. They are salty and savory without any fishiness, and we’re sure you’ll love them just as much as we do. 

If you really want to make a luxurious feast, try pairing Kokubu’s tinned uni with these Whole Oyster Senbei. These premium oyster rice crackers are created by an oyster specialist in Akitsu, Hiroshima. Each cracker has a whole oyster baked on top giving it the briny taste of a pure oyster. Full of flavor, with a delightfully light and airy crisp, these oyster rice crackers will definitely put a smile on your face. 

Smoked Hiroshima Oyster

Move beyond drinks and snacks and make a true feast out of your tinned uni. Grab Kokubu’s Smoked Hiroshima Oyster and Steamed Mussels in White Wine to take things to the next level. Serve alongside the rice crackers we mentioned above or any other rice crackers of your choice. Bokksu Boutique has a wide variety of senbei rice crackers to suit your fancy, though we recommend going for a simple shoyu, soy sauce, or shio, salt, flavored senbei to let the true flavors of the canned fish and seafood shine. 

Uni is a delicacy that isn’t the most attainable, but now you can try the taste of uni without being surprised by market prices at a sushi bar. Uni doesn’t just have to be eaten as uni sushi. Quality seafood can be found without any fuss.

Uni is one of our favorite sushi dishes, so check out how to eat sushi in Japan!

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