Shio Uni: How to Make Aomori’s Salted Sea Urchin Paste
Sea urchin roe “Uni (雲丹)” is known as a luxurious sushi ingredient and nowadays widely enjoyed in many countries around the world.
Although Uni is expensive, there is a home-use inexpensive sea urchin paste that has been loved in Japan for decades, which is called “Neri Uni (練うに)” as I wrote before.
Actually, the sea urchin paste, Neri Uni is not raw sea urchin, but processed food, so it can keep quite long in the refrigerator.
However at present, it is difficult to get Neri Uni outside of Japan, so today for people who are interested in the sea urchin that can be preserved, I will introduce “Shio Uni (塩うに)”.
Shio Uni (塩うに)
Plain White Rice with Shio Uni
As “Shio (塩)” means salt in Japanese, Shio Uni is salted sea urchin paste, which is actually known as a specialty of Aomori Prefecture. It is a simple Chinmi (delicacy) made with only 2 ingredients, raw sea urchin roe, and salt.
Nonetheless, Shio Uni is rich in flavor and taste compared to uncooked raw sea urchin and can be stored for a longer period of time, about a week in the fridge.
According to the Japanese recipe site “Foodie“, the making method of Shio Uni is fairly easy as follows.
As I mentioned above, all you need to prepare for this recipe are only fresh raw sea urchin roe (about 100 grams) and salt (2/3 tablespoon).
Prior to making Shio Uni, you need to sterilize a small lidded storage jar by boiling in water and dry it. Are you ready? Now, here are the instructions.
- First, place raw sea urchin roe one by one on a paper towel neatly, spacing apart from one another, so as not to break the shape
- Then, sprinkle salt evenly over it
- Cover the eggs with a cling film and let them rest in the refrigerator for over 15 minutes to overnight in order to remove excess water and smell from the sea urchin. The longer you keep them in the fridge, the more the water with a characteristic smell comes out, so if needed, replace the paper towel with another
- After that, remove wetness lightly from the surface of the salted sea urchin with a paper towel, and put the roes into the sterilized jar carefully using a spoon
- The prepared Uni paste can be stored in the fridge for about a week