Neri Uni – Home-Use Inexpensive Sea Urchin Paste for Rice

When I think of luxury, expensive ingredients for Sushi (寿司), what comes to my mind is Uni (雲丹), or sea urchin eggs, because the Sushi topping is one of my favorite delicacy foods.

Though we Japanese occasionally eat raw sea urchin roe along with rice or other ingredients at Sushi restaurants, traditional Japanese restaurants and so on, many of us rarely have the seafood at home.

As a matter of fact, there aren’t so many supermarkets that sell raw sea urchin roe separately in Japan.Instead, many handle assorted Sushi packs including one with raw sea urchin roe.

As for me, I sometimes purchase that kind of Sushi pack at a supermarket near my house because the assorted Sushi pack is inexpensive as compared to hand-rolled Sushi plates served at Sushi restaurants.

In addition to the Sushi pack, I also like a classic processed food made mainly with sea urchin eggs that is available at many supermarkets in Japan.Actually, I picked it up today to introduce.

Neri Uni – Home-Use Inexpensive Sea Urchin Paste for Rice

The classic Japanese food that I bought this time is Neri Uni (練うに).It is a sea urchin paste used mainly for plain white rice as a seasoning, but, in addition to rice, the paste also goes perfectly with alcoholic drinks, especially with Sake rice wine.Hence, many Japanese like to drink along with the sea urchin paste.

As the sea urchin paste is for home use, it is inexpensive and sold for about 500 yen.The reason why the product is inexpensive is that the paste doesn’t consists of just sea urchin eggs.As I wrote above, it is a processed food, not raw sea urchin roe.

The ingredients of Neri Uni paste

When you see the side of the bottle, you can know the ingredients.According to the description, the ingredient includes salted sea urchin eggs, wheat flour, sugar, yolk, ethyl alcohol, milk protein, amino acids, starch adhesives, and food colorings.The Neri Uni paste contains 65 precent salted sea urchin eggs.

Neri Uni paste goes really well with plain white rice

The sea urchin paste, Neri Uni has an unique, somewhat salty, thick flavor of salted sea urchin eggs.Even though the ingredient includes sugar, the paste isn’t sweet at all.Speaking of the texture, it is smooth like that of miso soybean paste.

As the sea urchin paste has a somewhat salty, savory, thick Uni flavor, it goes really well with plain white rice.It is no exaggeration to say that the combo of rice and Neri Uni is one of the best pairs in the case when I have plain white rice at meals.

If you are interested and get a chance, let’s give it a shot.Neri Uni is a must-try Japanese delicacy food that is easy to obtain at supermarkets in Japan.


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

2 Responses

  1. Justin says:

    Hey Tomo, cool blog. I’m interested in neri-uni and any other methods used to preserve sea urchins: do you think you could help me find a recipe for neri-uni, or any other recipe for preserving sea urchin roe? I’d be happy to send you some once I’m able to make it.


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