What are Sea Urchins? What does a Sea Urchin taste like? We will address these questions and a lot more in this article.
We will also go through the potential health benefits of eating Sea Urchins and how you can cook them.
What Is A Sea Urchin?
Sea Urchins are Globular Echinoderms that belong to the class of Echinoidea.
Over 950 species of these spiny sea creatures inhabit every depth zone but typically live on the ocean floor.
Sea Urchins have been observed at depths of more than 5000 meters, they have a round shape, and their diameter ranges from 3 to 10 centimetres.
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What Does Sea Urchin Taste Like?
Sea Urchins are rich in salt, amino acids and sugar, which gives them an Umami-salty sweetness.
Sea Urchins taste a lot like oysters and, like other sea creatures, have an ocean flavor.
Male Sea Urchins have a smooth texture, unlike female Sea Urchins, but normally all Sea Urchins have a buttery flavor and a unique taste.
How Is Sea Urchin Made?
Sea Urchins, also called Uni in Japanese, are often eaten raw and are a delicacy in many coastal parts of the world.
However, since Sea Urchins have sharp spines on their shell, it takes effort to prepare them for consumption.
Before you start preparing the Sea Urchin, please wear gloves to protect the hands from an accidental sting.
The gloves will also protect the hands from the dark purple eyes of the Sea Urchin.
Work the Sea Urchin’s mouth side-up, and cut out the shell’s top with a pair of regular kitchen scissors.
Gently pull the shell apart from the body.
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Then, make an incision in the bottom, enabling the fluid to drain.
You will want to do this process over a large bowl or in the kitchen sink.
Flip over the Sea Urchin, and with the help of tweezers, remove the organs around the Gonads.
With a spoon, carefully pry the Sea Urchin Gonads away from the shell.
To keep the Gonads intact, dip the whole creature in a small bowl of ice water.
Rinse the Sea Urchin with cold water, and once you have taken the rue out, serve it raw with butter on toast.
You can even use the processed Sea Urchin in your favorite recipes.
How Do You Cook Sea Urchin?
Here is how you can cook Sea Urchins:
Creamy Sea Urchin Pasta
- Fresh Sea Urchin: 4 to 6 ounces
- Crème Fraiche or Mexican-Style: 80 grams (1/3 Cup)
- Dried Long Pasta such as Bucatini or Spaghetti: 300 grams (10 ounces)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 15 ml (1 tbsp.)
- Shallot (Small/Minced): 1
- Cloves Garlic (Finely Minced): 1
- Calabrian Hot Chile Spread: 5 ml (1 tbsp.)
- Dry White Wine or Dry Sake: 125 ml (1/2 Cup)
- Chive Blossoms or Fresh Chives (Minced): Handful
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Set aside 4 Sea Urchin tongues to use as a garnish later.
Combine the remaining parts of Sea Urchin and the Crema in an immersion blender, mini chopper, or food processor.
Blend the ingredients until they are completely smooth.
Place the pasta in a small saucepan or a skillet.
Season the pasta with salt.
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Set the pasta over high heat and bring the pasta to boil.
Cook until the pasta is boiled and until it retains a chalky core.
While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add shallot and garlic to the skillet, and stir the ingredients constantly.
Ensure the garlic and shallot are softened. However, don’t wait for the two ingredients to get browned.
Next, add Calabrian chile spread and stir it.
Add wine or sake and cook until the liquid is reduced to less than 2 tbsps., for about a minute.
Remove the pan from the heat, and set the pan aside until the pasta is cooked.
When the pasta is boiled, with the help of tongs, transfer the noodles from the water to the pan with the oil and garlic mixture.
Set the pan over high heat and cook the ingredients; stir and swirl the pan constantly until the sauce comes together and develops a thick texture or consistency.
If you want more pasta water, add it to the pan, and season the pasta sauce with black pepper and salt.
Divide the pasta into serving bowls, drizzle the pasta portions with olive oil, garnish each bowl with a Sea Urchin tongue and sprinkle the bowl with minced chives.
What Do You Eat Sea Urchin With?
You can use raw Sea Urchins as a rice topping or add it on top of a pasta dish or Uni sushi.
Uni is an emulsifier used to thicken custards, soups and sauces such as hollandaise, béchamel and mayonnaise.
You can also add Sea Urchin to scrambled eggs or omelettes.
Try serving Sea Urchins on crackers, and sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on the crackers.
Add Sea Urchins to Yakitori marinade or a Barbeque dish.
Is Sea Urchin Good For You?
Here are some health benefits of Sea Urchins:
Sea Urchins are rich in dietary fiber, proteins, Beta Carotene, and minerals such as zinc.
The Sea Urchins also have a high Vitamin A and Vitamin C content, and like fatty fish such as Salmon, Sea Urchins are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Sea Urchins Are A Good Source Of Protein
When you think of protein, the food that comes to your mind would probably be meat, fish, eggs etc.
While these foods have a high protein content, Sea Urchins are also rich in protein.
A 100-gram serving of Sea Urchins can offer approximately 13.3 grams of protein.
This quantity of protein will fulfil your daily protein requirements.
High Zinc Content
Zinc is a type of mineral that is highly beneficial for the body and is also found in Sea Urchins.
Zinc plays a key role in our bodies, as it helps in healing wounds.
Zinc can also boost the reproductive system, exacerbate the sense and smell and increase the immune system.
Good Addition To The Diet
If you are on a strict diet, you can make Sea Urchins a part of it.
While typically, Sea Urchins are eaten alongside Sushi, you can also eat them as it is or with other recipes.
Sea Urchins have low-fat minerals and are rich in nutrients essential for the body.
However, be careful before consuming raw Sea Urchins as they may contain dangerous bacteria that can make you sick.
Rich In Vitamin C
We already know that Sea Urchins contain several essential minerals, and one of them is Vitamin C.
While most people get Vitamin C from green leaf vegetables, mangoes or oranges, you can also fulfil your daily Vitamin C requirement through Sea Urchins.
Vitamin C is necessary for our bodies; it can stimulate the brain and boost the immune system.
Can Improve The Immune System
The immune system is an integral part of our bodies, and a body with a poor immune system can be affected by infections and illnesses.
Eating healthy foods such as Sea Urchins can boost your immune system.
Related Questions About Sea Urchin?
How To Store Sea Urchins?
You can preserve Sea Urchins in salt, brine or alcohol.
There are also frozen varieties of Sea Urchins available.
Is It Safe To Eat Sea Urchins?
There are 950 species of Sea Urchins; unfortunately, only 18 of them are edible.
The purple Sea Urchins, Red Sea Urchins and Green Sea Urchins, have the highest global demand.
This article answers all the questions related to Sea Urchins.
We thoroughly discussed what Sea Urchins taste like, their health benefits, how you can cook them etc.
We also addressed some important queries related to Sea Urchins.
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