What is uni in sushi?雲丹
This time, I looked into the various names and seasons for sushi uni.
How to call uni
【uni】sea urchin roe ウニ 雲丹
The sea urchin, an echinoderm that lives in the deep sea, is also known for its extremely long lifespan. It is said that some species can live up to 200 years old if the environment is right. In some areas, it is also called “Gaze”. There are many different types of sea urchin, but in Japan, the main species known are Bafun sea urchin, Ezobafun sea urchin, Northern sea urchin, Red sea urchin, and Murasaki sea urchin.
The peak season for uni
The seasons for sea urchins vary depending on their species and ecology. More details below:
Sea urchin: The season for sea urchin varies greatly depending on the type and region of production, but it is generally considered to be in season during the summer months of June to August. Sea urchins are said to be at their largest and most delicious 1 to 2 months before spawning season. The spawning season is from mid-August to October, so the best season is from June to August. However, the season varies depending on the type of sea urchin and the place where it is produced, so the specific season is as follows.
Purple sea urchin: The season is from June to August. Its flesh is slightly white in color and its taste is light and sweet.
Kitamurasaki sea urchin: The season is from mid-June to August. Kitamurasaki sea urchin is slightly larger and has a larger amount of meat.
Bafun sea urchin: The season is around March to April. Because the gonads develop from spring to summer, it is said that the taste increases before the spawning season.
Ezobafun sea urchin: The season is from July to November. The color of the flesh is bright orange, and when you eat it, you will feel a strong sweetness.
Red sea urchin: The season is from summer to autumn, reaching its peak in mid-October before spawning. The taste is strongly sweet and has a sharpness that hits your nose.