Shio Uni: How to Make Aomori’s Salted Sea Urchin
Sea urchin roe or Uni (雲丹) is known as a luxurious sushi ingredient/topping and is nowadays widely enjoyed in many countries around the world.
Although Uni is expensive, there is a home-use inexpensive sea urchin paste that’s been a long-time favorite in Japan, called Neri Uni (練うに), as I wrote before.
The sea urchin paste, Neri Uni, is not raw but processed food. So it can keep quite long in the refrigerator.
However, at present, it is hard to get Neri Uni outside of Japan, so today, for people who are interested in the sea urchin preserved, I will introduce Shio Uni (塩うに).
Shio Uni (塩うに)
A Warm Bowl of White Rice with Shio Uni
As Shio (塩) means salt in Japanese, Shio Uni is a salted sea urchin, which is known as a specialty of Aomori Prefecture. The food is a simple Chinmi (delicacy) made with only two ingredients: raw sea urchin roe and salt.
Nonetheless, Shio Uni is rich in flavor and taste compared to uncooked raw sea urchin, stored for quite a long time, about a week in the fridge.
As for the making method of Shio Uni, according to the Japanese recipe site Foodie, it is pretty easy as follows.
As I mentioned above, all you need to prepare for this recipe are only two ingredients: fresh raw sea urchin roe (about 100 grams) and salt (2/3 tablespoon).
Before making Shio Uni, sterilize a small lidded storage jar by boiling it in water and drying it. Are you ready? Now, here are the instructions.
- First, place raw sea urchin roe neatly, one by one, on a paper towel, spacing them 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 (up to overnight) to remove excess water and smell from the sea urchin. The longer you keep them in the fridge, the more the water comes out, so if needed, replace the 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 with a spoon.
- You can store the cured roes in the fridge for about a week.