What Does Uni Taste Like?

Uni, also known as sea urchin, is a close relative of the starfish and the sand dollar. As they are fairly difficult to catch, clean, and cut, sea urchins are fairly pricey. It’s likely most people won’t have tried them.

Uni has a briny, somewhat umami flavor and tends to smell strongly like the ocean. Depending on the uni, you might be able to get some hints of sweetness or metallicity. It should be thick, creamy, soft, buttery, and melt in your mouth.

In addition, uni from different locations can have different flavors and textures.

West Coast Vs East Coast Uni

On different coasts, uni has different flavors and textures.

West Coast Uni

On the west coast, uni tends to be somewhat richer but more delicate. Generally, you find west coast uni in sushi.

East Coast Uni

In the east, however, the uni is brinier and has a much firmer as opposed to a delicate texture. It tastes a little similar to oysters. More often than not, uni from the east coast is found in warmer dishes, such as pasta meals or egg dishes.

Other Things That Affect the Flavor of Uni

It’s not just the location that changes the taste and texture of uni. There are other factors that can alter them as well.

One of those factors is how long ago the uni was caught. Generally, the longer caught uni sits, the more metallic and bitter it can become while taking on a slimy texture. It’s best to eat them as soon as possible after being caught.

How you eat the uni will also, obviously, affect the flavor. Eating uni raw with no additions is common and the best way to get a feel for how uni tastes. It’s also popular in egg dishes, and while the texture is creamy and buttery, the flavor is more egg than uni.

To Conclude

While it’s difficult to get a hold of uni, it’s a wonderfully flavored animal. It has a briny, umami flavor with a slight sweetness to it.

Depending on how you like your uni, you can get them from either the east or west coast. If you’re planning to eat your uni raw or in sushi, the west coast is a better option. Talking about uni, ever wondered what does eel tastes like?. However, the uni found on the east coast are harrier and stand up in warm dishes.