Wednesday Word of the Week: Uni

Uni (pronounced “oo – knee”) is arguably the most widely spread loved and hated menu item on the Japanese Menu.  The reason is due to its pasty texture and pungent flavor that can be perceived as bold or just plain revolting.  Some have hailed it as the new “New Foie Gras” while others need to control their gag reflex just to get it down.

Although it has been popping up as an ingredient in a variety of cuisines, Uni is best known for being served in Japanese rolls, handrolls or as sashimi. It has a creamy texture that tastes like you took a bite right out of the bottom of the sea with a hint of sweetness.

If you are still brave enough to keep reading, let’s get into what Uni actually is. Uni comes from the organs of Sea Urchins – those round spiky things you see on the ocean floor while scuba diving or snorkeling.

Sea Urchin

When these things get on your table, however, they are much less dangerous and a lot more dining friendly.  Although it can be served in a variety of ways (i.e. in the shell), the most consistent way I have seen it served is in a roll like this:

Uni Roll

If you’re an Uni believer already, then carry on, my friends – just make sure to order with your new word of the day.  If you have yet to try this powerful piece of Maki, then let me give you one piece of advice – do not eat the whole piece at once.

Trust me – you will thank me on the other side.


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