Daily Photo: Sea Urchin


Daily Photo: Sea Urchin – fresh from the Pacific Ocean. These prickly little creatures are brought into the the Santa Barbara harbor by the hard working fishermen. They are a delicacy also known as Uni and are best served fresh. Don’t try petting these sea urchins at home! Even though they look adorable, they have very sharp spines.

Here is a little info if you would like to know more about the Santa Barbara sea urchins. They are wild caught live by divers close to the Channel Islands. Whenever we are on a relaxing walk in the harbor we often see the fishermen bringing this precious cargo in and hoisting them with nets into large bins.
Each urchin cost close to $10 and has about 5 piece of roe inside. You can also purchase just the uni, or roe,  for $9 for 1.4 ounces.  This is perfect for making sushi and is quite popular in Japan.
Sea urchin can be used in many dishes and the texture makes a very creamy pasta dressing. You can enjoy them cooked or eat them simply raw with a nice crusty baguette and a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Sea urchins, the hedgehogs of the sea, are closely related to sand dollars, which you can find scattered on the beach shores at certain times of the season. They come in colors ranging from green to black to purple and the local variety are generally a deep purple or red.


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  1. says: Grant

    Chalk one up for Corina…it really is a very different taste! Did she like it? Thanks for asking after the family–we’re all good, plus arrival of new granddaughter 4 weeks ago. Drove past your place the other day & wondered what you were all up to. Regards to Paul, also! Have you been to GoGi tasting room in Loss Alamos yet? Ciao,

    1. Oh how wonderful Grant!
      Congratulations for the darling little new addition! You both must be so thrilled.
      Corina likened the flavor to the saltiness of an ocean cave with a pungent sweetness and has to give it another try before making a final decision on liking it since it may not have been perfectly fresh. We have not been to GoGi yet but are in love with Riverbench at the moment.
      Let us know when you are coming again to SB and perhaps we can all get together with Terry as well.
      Ciao, (we used to say this in Europe)

  2. says: Grant

    In New Zealand we have an endemic sea urchin known as ‘kina.’ It has a reputation for having a bitter taste, but is none-the-less considered to be a delicacy. The roe is best eaten raw right from the shell–it is most surely an ‘acquired taste,’ and not for the less adventurous foody!

    1. Hello Grant, Hope you and your family are doing well!
      This prickly fellow requires adventurous tasters too. You can get the roe at the Santa Barbara Fish Market and in the local sushi restaurants. Corina did try it raw while out on a sushi night with friends. Cheers!

  3. Hello Dedy, we are with you on this and still not sure if we like it or never ever wish to eat it again! By the way in Arizona we tasted snake and the flavor was more like chicken.