Friday, August 15, 2008

Live Uni - Sushi Lover's Envy

Everyone knows that when it comes to seafood, the fresher the better...
Just alive yesterday: I used to work for a subcontractor and one of the guys there would always go out on fishing trips on the weekends. He would always pack an extra large lunch to share after his fishing excursions. Sometimes, vendors would rent out those big fishing boats and take our project managers out on a day long fishing excursion off the coast of Baja or even Alaska! There would always be a company BBQ when those guys came back with a bounty of fish caught and frozen just the day before (catches from fishing boats are all thrown into the gigantic freezer on the boat as soon as the fish comes out of the water). Besides grilled fish, there would also be the occasional dish of sashimi set aside for the few sushi lovers there.

Iron Chef Michiba once presented the King of Indonesia with the written word "Fresh" ...
Never frozen: At another previous job, I worked with a guy who grew up in Hawaii. He used to tell me about catching fish straight from the ocean and cutting it into sashimi right there on the beach.

Still kickin'
All the above sounds like a sushi lover's paradise, right? How's about uni that is still moving as you're eating it? Last night, discovered a place that offered the option having your sea urchin served live or made into a bisque. Guess which one I went for?

Our server made a comment about how much she loves the fact that it is still moving when she set the bowl down in front of me. I looked down and sure enough, the spikes were moving and continued to do so even as I was spooning the roe into my mouth.
How does it taste? The texture is smooth and light. Similar to custard. The only way I can think of to describe the flavor is for you to close your eyes and picture yourself being out in the middle of the open sea (it has to be the open sea, not the beach). Imagine taking in a deep breath as a cool ocean breeze washes over your senses. That's what it tastes like.
If that's still to vague, well, you're just gonna have to try it for yourself. All I can say is that all the uni that I've ever had at sushi restaurants cannot hold a flame to this one. Where did I go to sample this euphoria for my taste buds? I'll give you a hint: It is NOT a sushi restaurant.
Give up? Here's another hint

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