I never knew you could eat sea urchin until I saw Anthony Bourdain practically salivating all over some uni during one of his trips to Japan. If he likes it, I thought, it must be good. Bourdain is the god of food after all.
I thought uni was a Japanese thing, but I came across some at a food festival in Shanghai, where I also tried Alvin Leung’s molecular soup dumplings. Here the uni came as a topping for a small canape-sized taco. The taco shell was stuffed with a salad and topped with one sliver of yellow sea urchin roe.
I never liked fish as a kid, and I still don’t enjoy things that taste overly fishy, such as caviar, so I was a little hesitant. To my great relief, there was no fishy taste to worry about. Actually I thought there wasn’t a big evidence of any flavor, so I was left underwhelmed. On the bright side, the creamy uni the crunchy salad and the crispy taco shell did make for a great textural play. I’ll have to try some plane uni next time I see it, so I can get a better taste of it.
Fear Factor – 5 / Taste Test – 7