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May 16, 2021

Experts' Expert: How to prepare fresh sea urchin

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And to think that not all that long ago fishermen in Maine considered sea urchins trash.

Times change.

A post on ComingAnarchy told how to prepare them; details below.

Uni Muki — How to prepare sea urchin

During a recent trip to Rebun Island, the northernmost island in Japan after Hokkaido, I had a chance to break open and prepare a sea urchin at a local fishery. The pictures of the experience are posted here for readers to enjoy below.

Sea urchins are a delicacy in Japan. Here is a tub of the spiny creatures waiting to be shipped across the country or otherwise served up for food.

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The only edible part of the creature are its orange gonads. Access requires completely destroying the creature, breaking through its spines and hard crusty shell. To split the creature open, three tools are required — a chisel with a lever, a dull scalpel, and tweezers.

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First, the chisel is stabbed into the top of the urchin about half an inch.

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Then, the lever is pulled and the flat part of the chisel pushes the shell open, splitting the sea urchin in half.

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With bare hands the sea urchin is then pulled apart. I asked a native supervising my experience if I would be hurt by grabbing the spines of this sea urchin. The lady replied, "the only one who is going to be hurt here is that sea urchin."

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The dull scalpel is then used to scrape the inside of the sea urchin into a tray, trying to avoid the brown innards and aim for only the orange gonads.

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Tweezers are then used to remove remaining bits of the brown innards. The gonads are then washed in salt water and served as is.

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Pictured at the top is one popular tourist food — sea urchin served over rice, with wasabi on top.

[via my LA correspondent]

May 16, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


Comments

I have been to Hokkaido. Best fresh seafood bar none, in my experience. Sicily runs it a close second. I really think the cold water does something.

Posted by: nonom | May 16, 2021 4:16:10 PM

A firm favourite.

I like to ask local fishermen in the Philippines to go out and dive for some. Just fantastic, but I think the cold water ones are firmer, larger, and taste better.

Posted by: nonom | May 16, 2021 12:38:37 PM

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