Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Buying Sea Urchin

When you buy sea urchins in Japan or at a Japanese market in the US, they usually sale them cleaned and lined in wooden boxes (see left). Some Japanese companies started to sell it in a container with sea water to preserve the delicate texture and moisture. You can buy whole uncleaned sea urchin only in sea side market in Japan.

Majority of sea urchin in California come from Santa Barbara. They tend to taste sweeter and bigger than Japanese ones. I like eating Santa Barbara ones when I'm in the US because they are fresher.....Freshness is very important.

About Santa Barbara Sea Urchin

Live sea urchin has movable spines. When it start to die, some spins come off. Picture on the left is a sea urchin I coughed in Nha Tran Vietnam.

I was very surprised to find whole (uncleaned) sea urchin at a fish market at San Francisco Ferry Building. It was $10 each. It was very big (about 5 inches wide not including spines) but only had 6 roes. I was VERY disappointed because it did not taste fresh... I think it is safer to buy boxed (cleaned) sea urchin if you are not at sea side market near the sea urchin harvesting spot.

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