Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sea Urchin from Maruhide 丸秀の特選生うに

We are always looking out for new sources of sashimi items. Although Catalina Offshore products have been our go-to place, in recent years, quality tuna マグロ and sea urchins うに have been hard to come by. For uni sea urchin, we found an excellent alternative. It is a company called "Maruhide" 丸秀 from Long Beach. Uni is harvested off Santa Barbara. By far, the quality and careful preparation and packaging are the best. It tends to be a bit expensive but not overly so. It comes in a metal box with a transparent plastic front. The uni is sandwiched between the bottom sponge sheet and the top special absorbent pad (see below) so it doesn't slide around in the box getting turned to mush during shipment. This is 3.52oz or about 100 grams.


Upon opening, it is nicely shaped with the bright yellow color of California Uni.


As soon as we received it, we had to taste it. So, we had a small amount around lunch time. It was indeed sublime. Creamy but not too soft or liquefied. Although it is treated with alum or myoban ミョウバンas per the back label, we did not detect a chemical or bitter taste, which sometimes happened especially with U.S. prepared uni. Actually, the company also sells uni soaked in salt water that doesn't use myoban, This product is called "uni in salt water" 生うに海水パック or Shiomizu-uni 塩水うに which we would like to try next.


In the evening, we had more uni as sashimi. Since we did not have any other sashimi items, we had uni with avocado slices and skinned and sliced Campari tomato.  As a "shime" ending dish for the evening, I made a small donburi with golden egg threads, nori, and cucumber over vinegared rice.


The next day, we finished up two trays of uni with another simpler version of uni donburi. I also made a sort of salad with cucumber, tomato, broccoli, wakame sea weed and shrimp dressed in kimisu 黄身酢.


This version of donburi made with only nori worked better since we could really enjoy the uni.


This is by far the best uni we can have had either in restaurants or at home.


This time I got the uni with kazunoko 数の子 from JALShopping but we learned that we can also get uni directly from Maruhide.

Digression addendum:

We recently had a snow storm (the first measurable accumulation of the year). The temperatures were very low with highs in the low 20's. This was the scene at the feeder in our backyard. Depending on how you count them there are over 20 birds lined up to get on the feeder. Most of them were cardinals. 


We often supplement the feeder by distributing peanuts. Everybody loves peanuts--birds, squirrels and we have even observed foxes eating the peanuts we put out).  The cardinals beg for peanuts when they see us at the window. On this day, a female cardinal came and pecked at the window next to which we were sitting. In response, we got up to put out the peanuts shown below--who is better trained the cardinal or us?


The bluejay joined the feast chowing down.


This male cardinal is posing for his close-up.



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