02.13.2018

Uni-don: Sea Urchins on Rice

Sea urchins are undoubtedly one of the most refined ingredients you may find at a sushi shop in Japan. But if you really want to gorge yourselves on this delicacy, try them on top of rice, in a luscious uni-don.

  • Uni-don: Sea Urchins on Rice
  • Uni-don: Sea Urchins on Rice
  • Uni-don: Sea Urchins on Rice
  • Uni-don: Sea Urchins on Rice

There are about 900 species of sea urchin, of which at least one hundred inhabit Japan’s waters. The most common to find on the market are: bafun-uni, murasaki-uni (purple), ezo-bafun-uni, aka-uni (red), and kita-murasaki-uni. The habitats, seasons, and flavours of these sea urchins vary depending on the type. The fishing period also changes from port to port, which is crucial for the preservation of the species.
 
Fresh sea urchins are sweet and rich in essential nutrients, such as echinenone, a pigment performing the same functions as vitamin A, vitamins B1 and B2, glutamine and omega-3 fatty acids, which are instrumental in improving blood circulation. In addition to being good for health, sea urchins are also beneficial to the skin, making it strong and well-nourished.
 
Sea urchins are said to taste like the pure, deep ocean. Let us introduce you to the best restaurants in Tokyo where you can have a sea urchin galore.
 
Tsukiji: Sushi-kuni
If you are hungry for carefully selected sea urchins, this is the place to go. An extremely popular dish at Sushi-kuni is kobore uni-don, literally meaning “rice bowl overflowing with sea urchins”. The shop is small and people start queuing before it opens. Be warned: kobore uni-don will be sold out in no time.
 
Roppongi: Uoteru
At Uoteru, you can taste the seasonal pot and fish dishes in the lively ambience of a Japanese izakaya. The shop’s forte is uni-ikura, a bowl of white rice plentifully decorated with sea urchins and salmon eggs (seasoned with Hokkaidō soy sauce). To guarantee the freshest produce, all the ingredients are carefully selected at Tsukiji market and their place of origin varies according to the season.
 
Nakameguro: Ifuu
Ifuu is a small shop and an ideal hideout located at just a three-minute walk from Nakameguro Station. The speciality here is sea urchins cooked in a pot. The umami and fragrance of the sea urchin will spread in your mouth at every grain of rice you eat.
There is also a private room on the upper floor. It is very a popular shop, also due to the fact it is completely non-smoking. Needless to say, reservation is required.
 
Shimbashi: Haretari Kumottari
Haretari Kumottari is located on the second basement floor of Ginza Nine, under the railroad bridge. The speciality of the shop is sea urchin temaki sushi, with the ingredients provided in a box for you to assembly. The amount is usually worth 3-4 people. It is better to make a reservation at least one day in advance.
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

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Tokyo  | uni  | sea urchin  | donburi  |

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