California uni is one of the most sought after sea urchin product in the world. A big contributing factor is the vast amount of nutrient full kelp beds off the coast of California. These pods of seaweed are the main food source of the live sea urchin. As you can see in the image, the California sea urchin is a large healthy specimen. Uni is a product of the sea urchin which is located inside of the animal’s exoskeleton. The uni is technically the reproduction organs of the sea urchin. A very healthy sea urchin will provide a bigger and brighter sushi product.
To extract the sushi uni from the sea urchin you will need open the animal’s exoskeleton. This can be done by using two spoons to pry the urchin open. Place the two spoons back to back in your hand and give the top of the sea urchin a firm stab. The sea urchin can then be cracked in half. Once the urchin is open you can start to scoop the bright yellow uni tongues out of insides. There should be 5 pieces of uni within every California sea urchin. Make sure to take your time when scooping the uni out of the animal as the pieces are very delicate. Place the extracted uni into a bowl of cold fresh water to clean any unwanted innards off of the product. After the pieces of uni are rinsed, place them on a paper towel and gently pick off any remaining innards. Once the uni is completely cleaned it can now be served.
Informaiton provided by Catalina Offshore Products to educate sushi lovers on intersting facts, tips and guidelines on how to buy sushi grade fish.