Not My Cup of Uni

Friday, December 22, 2006

UniIron Chef (the real Japanese one) taunts me with uni. The judges and commentators give it an appeal akin to cotton candy with their squeals of delight whenever it graces their table. Mmmm oishii!

In my sushi lunch yesterday with a fellow motorcycle enthusiast, I decided to try this morsel again. It was Troy’s second time too. He’s the one who gave into an impulsive inspiration and choose uni as a neighbor to his tobiko nigiri. We popped it in our mouths simultaneously, not letting the other back out of this uni pact. The flavor swirled like freshly scooped out brackish tank water, tasting of fish, and ocean, with an intensity I can only stand long enough to swallow quickly. My eyes lighted on one of the many restaurant fish tanks, glass walls collecting green algae, fish not particularly noticeable amid the tank toys. In a moment of flavor esp, I tasted that tank.

“Well,” I ventured once our eyes had stopped watering, “it has a nice texture”?

7 Comments

posted December 22nd, 2006 at 3:22 pm

At our only experience with uni, the waiter described it, after he brought it to the table, as being sort of like the by-product of an elephant with a head cold. (yea, there went his tip!)

I don’t think ours was prepared properly as it was much like elephant snot, with some sand thrown in for good measure!

Good for you for giving it another go – I don’t think our parents rules though about having to take 3 bites to make a decision should apply here!!

~robynn

- Robynn
posted December 22nd, 2006 at 10:31 pm

When someone asks me what uni’s like, I tell them to imagine ‘pudding from the sea’.
It’s a pretty effective culinary Shibboleth

- dan
posted December 23rd, 2006 at 11:10 am

“Well,” I ventured once our eyes had stopped watering, “it has a nice texture”?

Perfect!

posted December 23rd, 2006 at 7:34 pm

I had Uni for the first time just a few months ago at the recommendation of a waitress and it has quickly become one of my favorite treats when out for sushi. I find it more salty than fishy and adore the smooth texture which practically melts in my mouth.

- Kate
posted December 23rd, 2006 at 10:54 pm

I eat uni once every year or two, just to rediscover that it’s one of the nastiest things ever offered to me as a delicacy. It’s like having a dollop of lye custard over rice, surrounded by a ring of tasty nori.

I really like just about every other variety of sushi or sashimi, but uni needs to be towed out to international waters and unceremoniously dumped. Bleh.

posted January 4th, 2007 at 4:57 am

I have to say that I adore uni. It is by far my favorite sushi as the flavor is as complex as the texture is smooth. That said, there is a huge variation in the taste of uni. Try it at the absolute best sushi restaurant that you can afford, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

I will keep this in mind!
I can’t believe we didn’t try any in Japan… doh!

–McAuliflower

- Kim
posted January 13th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Well… I just had uni for the first time. After eating my standard of hamachi followed by a cup of miso soup and some sake, I felt the bravery to try it out. It was the less expensive variety, I think due to the yellow coloring.

I have no reason why I got this when I ate it, but… here goes. Of course, it was cold. But the texture was definitely melt-in-your-mouth. I could gather a very strong salty taste, but the combination of this velvety, buttery, earthy, salty taste reminded me of –peanut butter– or that is how my mind placed it to be. I have no idea why I got that, but when I had the second piece of nigiri I got the same thing. I am hoping to go to another place and try it again. Perhaps it was bad, or it was good. But I have to find out!

- Lee

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