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Sea Urchin Sushi: Besides the Many Benefits, is it Healthy?

In Japan and some regions of Asia, we will find sea urchins lying on the tables of high-end restaurants. They call it ‘uni’, processed food made from sea urchin, yellow with a tongue-like texture. Find out more About Sea Urchin Sushi: Besides the Many Benefits, is it Healthy?

This part of the meat is also a reproductive gland of animals that can only be harvested by a professional diver. Fresh and delicious uni, said to be brightly colored, toned, and not too much liquid.

In Japan, uni is served with sushi and sashimi. Uni enthusiasts, call this traditional Japanese cuisine has a strong sea aroma, thick, oily, and salty. Uniquely, this food is processed in a variety of cuisines in Japan.


What is Sea Urchin?

Uni (pronounced as oo-nee instead of U-nee) is the Japanese term for the edible part of sea urchins. These are marine animals that look like water urchins.

Although it is often known as roe or eggs, uni is a reproductive organ or sea urchin gonad that creates roe or milt. It is an exotic and rare treat for those who have an acquired taste.

Uni comes in a variety of values that I will discuss below and the colors can range from rich gold to bright yellow.

It has a creamy consistency and a rich flavor that melts into the mouth also feels heavenly. Again, let’s not overlook that it requires an acquired taste so this may be off-putting for some while some believe it’s to die for!


What is Sea Urchin Sushi or Uni Sushi?

The sushi union has earned a respectable place for itself on the menu at sushi restaurants around the world. It’s highly praised by food critics, chefs, and foodies.

Its sweet and briny taste makes it fun which is often appreciated as sashimi or nigiri sushi. Some people describe their experience of tasting sea urchins as similar to the taste of the sea but not so suspicious.

In this guide, I will tell you everything you want to know about Sea Urchin Sushi, but before that let us take a peek at some of the most popular sushi recipes that use uni.


If you’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant, you’ve seen colorful little balls, slightly larger than poppy seeds, used to decorate many sushi rolls. The spectrum of orange, red, green, and black. They add a subtle spirit and flavor. However, this material is more than just a bright and colorful touch. In this article, you will find out what is tobiko or flying fish roe, how many colors does he have.


How to Make Sea Urchin Sushi Rolls


  • sushi rice
  • Sea urchin (uni)
  • Lemon juice
  • noodle sauce
  • Spring onions



  • Marinate the cleaned sea urchin with lemon juice and keep it away.
  • Prepare vinegar sushi rice by following these steps mentioned in this article.
  • Have a moderate golf ball how big spiced sushi rice on your hand, create a smooth balland give it an oblong shape with your fingers.
  • Keep the rice bed in sushi cutlery and place the carefully marinated uni on top.
  • Garnish with finely cut onions and serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.


What Are The Different Values Of Sea Urchins?

Although unis of different origins may seem similar to laypeople, there are many differences if you look closely. They are divided into different values based on texture, color, and freshness. Other factors include the location where the union came out of, gender, diet, and harvest time.

The highest grade uni usually has a bright gold or orange color with a firm texture and sweetness. Low-grade unions have a smooth color and are mostly part of the rest of the sea urchin after processing. The union is generally divided into three values and also its characteristics are as follows:

Top Level:

It’s gold or bright yellow. Since it is the maximum value, it is the most expensive of all. it has a firm texture that looks good when used as a sushi topping and tastes good to taste.


Middle Level:

This is the next level that has a matte yellowish color and a softer texture, but the taste is not as sweet as the first level.


Lowest Rated

This is the lowest level of sea urchin/uni and is often called vana. It has a dull yellow color and can be formed from the remaining pieces of uni after processing or handling.

In Japan, you can find uni in various forms such as suspended (reito uni), fresh (uni name), baked (yaki uni), and brushed (Mushi uni). You can also find it in the form of glue in the grocery store.


Sea Urchin Sushi: Besides the Many Benefits, is it Healthy?


Is Union an Aphrodisiac Food?

Uni is often called aphrodisiac food because it consists of a chemical component causing euphoria, which is similar to the one you see in marijuana. Neurotransmitter compounds are specifically referred to as anandamide or arachidonoylethanolamide.

Anandamides naturally occur in sea urchin gonads, which will be the key reproductive system of sea urchins. While I’m not sure if sea urchin sushi can give you peaks, it tastes heavenly and leaves a creamy taste in the mouth that makes you happy!


What Types of Union Are Used In Sushi

Currently, the union is selected in other areas of the planet as well, however, Japan is the oldest and most authentic source. Besides, utilizing uni in sushi begins in Japan, so let’s talk about the different types of uni that you can find in this country.

Bafun uni

Another popular type is called bafun uni because it comes from smaller size sea urchins selected from the depths of rocky seas. This variety of uni has a bolder and richer flavor with a slightly bitter taste. Because of its different flavor, size, and taste, Bafun uni is mostly used in desserts and cooked sauces.


Murasaki uni

comes out of a dark purple sea urchin with pointed spines and is by far the most common breed found in Japan. It features a mustard yellow color and has a sweet and light taste. Murasaki is best used in sushi rolls, or may also be enjoyed as sashimi to enjoy its rich and creamy flavor.


Ezo-bafun Union

Ezo-bafun union also comes from Hokkaido, Japan. It is a vibrant gem-like color and offers unparalleled creaminess and a sweet smell. Another popular union in Japan is a.k.a. uni, however, it was removed from California, and they are much larger proportionally, using meat-like flavors.


Kita-Murasaki Union

Kita-Murasaki is originally from Hokkaido and they are named after the old Japanese name in the area. This type of union has a subtle feel with a sweet taste that tastes much better than normal uni Murasaki.


Where to Get Uni For Sushi?

In Japan, most of the sea urchins (uni) used in sushi come from Hokkaido, Japan. Expert chefs think that there is nothing like the sweet and savory taste of their uni from such an area. The rich taste comes from the high levels of umami caused by kelp in these areas. Sea urchins love to eat kelp so they stay healthy and breed more.

The union’s next important supply in Santa Barbara, California. Unions in California are larger mainly because of their high sulfur content in the ocean. The California Union is not only large, but thick, rich, and creamy in flavor.

Some American sushi facilities around the East Coast are removing their unions from Maine because it’s close. According to Expert Chef Yamada, sea urchins from the area are lighter than other varieties. The union of Maine has the strongest sea-like aroma, bright yellow color, and long spikes.

In the end, we have South American sea urchins that are mostly harvested from Chile. Many chefs believe that this is not a sushi class plus they have a long way to go before they can get the quality found in Japan or the US. Even so, this kind of lemon yellow uni is still utilized in various sushi restaurants around the nation.


What is the number of calories of sea urchin sushi?

If you see fat, then you will be delighted to know that Sea urchin sushi includes a low number of carbohydrates, which is just about 34 calories per ounce. This implies uni sushi has reduced calories compared to other types of sushi made from raw fish such as albacore tuna, salmon, and mackerel. If you want to change your high-calorie diet with some healthy alternatives, you might like sushi uni.

These include energy-dense nutritional supplements, making it a portion of much healthier food. Another advantage of uni sushi is the fact that it has little or no carbohydrates, so such a diet can help with weight loss. This may also lead to reduced variable cardiovascular risk.

Another health benefit of uni sushi is that it is full of protein content and most of the calories come from there. Per oz, sushi uni consists of about 3.2 g of protein.


When is the best time to eat uni in Japan?

Unions in Japan are best eaten in the period of late summer to the end of April. The union will have a stronger and more pleasant aroma during the period in which the union is growing its gonad glands for the egg-laying season…

In Murasaki-uni, this period lasts from July to August. While September to October for us-Murasaki uni.

October to November for the bafun union, then December to February for Ezo bafun union. People in Japan broadly agree, the best domestic union comes from Hokkaido prefecture, where sea urchins live in cold water on umami-rich seaweed.

Kita-Murasaki uni and Ezo bafun uni can also be found in high-end sushi and seafood restaurants or sold by union vendors in large fish markets. Tokyo is the best place to eat uni, as it has access to not only Hokkaido but also the place where the best uni finds from places like California and Chile.


There’s a special uni festival.

With a great love of Japanese society to the union, it is not surprising many uni festivals appear when the local harvest begins. Contained in the Teuri Uni Matsuri on Teuri Island in Hokkaido and the Taneichi Uni Matsuri held in the Iwate Prefecture, both held in July.


In Addition to That the Akune Uni-don Matsuri held in Kagoshima prefecture in May. also, Sai-mura Uni Matsuri was held in Aomori Prefecture in June.


Why is uni sushi so expensive?

Sea urchins or even the Union are fragile to harvest and difficult to increase. It produces only a fraction of raw meat so the cost of harvesting, cleaning, and bringing it to your plate takes some time and energy. These factors add to the original price.


How to eat sea urchin sushi

You can eat Uni without being cooked in sashimi style or perhaps used as a topping in a gunkan maki or stuffing in a sushi roll. You can use chopsticks to eat uni sushi if you are comfortable with it or use your hands to avoid clutter.


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