The Difference: Uni-Shoyu vs Uni-Hishio Sea Urchin Sauce
Loved by many foodies around the world, the sea urchin roe, “Uni (雲丹)” has plenty of natural distinctive umami and is known as a luxury sushi ingredient. The sea urchin roe is not only used as a sushi topping but actually it is widely used in Japanese cuisine.
Japanese Sea Urchin Sauce: Uni Shoyu vs Uni Hishio
For example, when I think of Japanese sauce made with sea urchin, what comes to mind right away are the 2 varieties, “Uni-Hishio (雲丹醤)”, and “Uni-Shoyu (雲丹醤油)”.
Actually, they are both available on some online shopping sites outside of Japan, so for those who are interested in Japanese sea urchin sauce, today I will talk about the difference between the Uni-Hishio and Uni-Shoyu sauces.
As I wrote about the former Uni-Hishio in this article before, the sea urchin sauce is known as a specialty of Fukui Prefecture consisting of sea urchin, sugar, salt, onion, amino acids, polysaccharide thickener, spices, and paprika pigment.
On the other hand, as “Shoyu (醤油)” is the Japanese word for soy sauce, the key ingredients in the Uni-Shoyu sauce are soy sauce and sea urchin.
Specifically, the Japanese sauce mainly consists of soy sauce, sake lees, fermented rice seasoning, sea urchin paste, salted sea urchin, salt, starch, sugar, sorbitol, alcohol, and paprika pigment.
Made by fermenting and aging salted sea urchins, Uni-Hishio is a sauce that makes the most of the natural umami taste of sea urchin roe. It is smooth and pretty mellow with a mild, rich sea urchin flavor.
Meanwhile, Uni-Shoyu is a soy sauce-based sea urchin sauce with a dark brown color that comes from its base ingredient soy sauce. With a slightly coarse consistency, it is literally something like a cross between sea urchin sauce and soy sauce.
Although Uni Hishio and Uni Shoyu are quite different in taste, both the Japanese sea urchin sauces can be used in the same way and go especially well with Sashimi fresh raw fish slices, pasta dishes, fresh vegetables, tofu and so on.