Uni Hishio: Sea Urchin Sauce from Wakasa, Fukui
The Wakasa (若狭) region in Fukui Prefecture is known for its variety of seafood from ancient times,
and in the Nara period (奈良時代: 710 to 794), the lord presented such things as salt, fish, and seaweed to the imperial court of Japan.
In the old days, the sea urchin Uni (雲丹) was available in large quantities in Wakasa, and the region today has a sea urchin sauce that it can boast.
Uni Hishio (雲丹醤)
The local specialty sauce is this Uni Hishio (雲丹醤), made from sea urchin roe salted, fermented, and aged.
Specifically, the ingredients used in Unihishio are sea urchin, sugar, salt, onion, seasoning (amino acid), polysaccharide thickener, spice, and paprika pigment.
Based on the label, this sea urchin sauce has 78 kcal per 100 grams and contains 4.3 g salt equivalents.
The Uni Hishio sauce is thick in consistency with a golden brown color from its main ingredient, sea urchin roe.
The fermentation and aging process gives a depth of flavor and distinctive umami to the sauce, making it a mellow, delicious Uni sauce.
The accompanying small leaflet states that Uni Hishio is a versatile multipurpose sea urchin sauce.
It recommends using the sauce for pasta or fried seafood and says that Unihishio goes well with Tamago Kake Gohan (卵かけご飯: raw egg on rice).
Not only that, but the sea urchin sauce can even be a secret seasoning in ramen.
As for me, this time, I tasted it with fresh vegetables, Sashimi raw fish slices, and plain white rice.
Instead of Soy Sauce
Instead of soy sauce, I enjoyed Sashimi slices with the thick ocher sea urchin sauce, and I was satisfied.
As a Dip with Mayonnaise
Fresh vegetable sticks are one of the best matches with the sea urchin sauce. A dip of Unihishio and mayo is perfect for them.
With Bland or Light-Tasting Foods
By drizzling some Uni Hishio on a warm bowl of white rice, I found this sea urchin sauce works well with bland or light-tasting foods.