Other Seafood

Sea Urchin [Uni]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

uni in Japanese


Japanese sea urchin, known as “uni” in Japan, is a prized delicacy in Japanese cuisine. It is highly regarded for its unique and delicate flavor, as well as its creamy and buttery texture.

Among the sea urchins found in Japanese waters, there are six species that are commonly consumed: Ezo Bafun Uni, Kitamurasaki Uni, Bafun Uni, Murasaki Uni, Aka Uni, and Shirahige Uni.

The peak season for uni varies depending on the region and species. However, the general consensus is that uni is at its best during the summer months, from around June to August.

Uni is obtained from the edible part of the sea urchin, specifically the gonads, which are the reproductive organs. The appearance of uni is distinctive, with a vibrant yellow to orange color and a soft, almost custard-like consistency.


In Japanese cuisine, uni is commonly enjoyed in various ways. One popular preparation is as nigiri sushi, where a small amount of uni is delicately placed on top of a mound of sushi rice. The natural sweetness and rich flavor of the uni create a luxurious and decadent sushi experience.

Uni is also frequently used as a topping for rice bowls, such as uni donburi or uni ikura don, where it is served alongside other ingredients like rice, seaweed, and sometimes salmon roe (ikura). The combination of flavors and textures in these rice bowl dishes creates a harmonious and satisfying meal.

In addition, uni is a sought-after ingredient for dishes like pasta, risotto, and even as a flavoring in sauces and dressings. Its distinct taste and creamy texture add a unique and indulgent touch to these preparations.

The taste of uni can vary depending on its origin and species, with different regions in Japan known for producing uni with their own distinct characteristics. The coastal areas of Hokkaido, in particular, are renowned for their premium quality uni.

Uni is often considered a delicacy due to its rich and complex flavor profile. It is highly appreciated by seafood enthusiasts and is frequently showcased in high-end sushi restaurants and gourmet establishments.

Sea Urchin Sushi [Uni]
Sea Urchin Sushi [Uni]