YouTube taught me how to open a sea urchin

By nagomistation - Last updated: 月曜日, 4月 23, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment
Story by Alisa


A few weeks ago some nice folks gave me fresh uni or sea urchin since they just came from the Tsukiji fish market. This was definitely a very lovely gesture but also very unexpected. Because honestly, the only time I actually cut an uni open was when I found a bunch somewhere in the beaches of Mexico I think. Since coming to Japan I’ve been spoiled with the affordable fresh but already prepared uni in the stores so I just never had to go through the whole preparation process. It would have been great to slice these suckers open on the spot and offer them a piece too but I seriously was not ready.

When I was finally ready for the challenge, I was too excited to wait for any of my kitchen savvy friends to respond to my dilemma that I decided to rely on YouTube. My husband and I have actually learned a lot through YouTube. It has saved us from having to pay someone to install our built-in electric cooktop because a video tutorial showed us how to do it ourselves among other things so I thought it was the perfect solution. Sure enough there were a bunch of Japanese (and English which I found afterwards) videos on how to properly scoop out the uni.

Most of the videos tell similar instructions where you either use a knife or some other tool that will help crack open the uni and then you are to pull out the black seaweed that is covering the lovely orange jewels. But the one video I found later on said that you could actually eat that black seaweed separately so will have to try that next time.


So the lesson for today is, be like me and use YouTube to solve all your problems! Or at least all your Japanese food related problems because it’s sometimes easier to understand than written recipes.

And yes of course, if it weren’t for the lovely folks that gave me these uni in the first place, I wouldn’t have had this yummy experience. Arigato very much and next time, I will be prepared for sure!

Alisa Sanada, (@asanada) co-organizer for Nagomi Kitchen, is a former Texan currently residing in Kawasaki. She went from craving fresh jalapenos while working 7 years in the web industry in Tokyo and Osaka to craving fresh tofu while traveling across the globe for a year in 2011 as a full time nomad. Alisa joined Nagomi Kitchen wanting to bring together her passions, the web, travel, and food.

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