What Is Sea Urchin Sushi? The Ultimate Guide On Making Japanese Uni Sushi

What Is Sea Urchin Sushi? The Ultimate Guide On Making Japanese Uni Sushi

Authentic Japanese sushi dishes are often very diverse in ingredients. In addition to the famous sushi from salmon, tuna, we also know sea urchin sushi. This sushi has a particularly cool, greasy taste and a feeling from the sea.

Although delicious and nutritious, the process of making Japanese sea urchins is not simple. Read our full article if you want to make your own famous sushi or sashimi dishes from sea urchins. You will have the best recipe with detailed step-by-step instructions.

sea urchin sushi 

Page Contents

  1. What is sea urchin sushi?
  2. The different grades of sea urchin sushi
  3. Ingredients
  4. How to make Japanese sea urchin nigiri sushi?
  5. Nutrition facts of sea urchin in sushi
  6. Conclusion

What is sea urchin sushi?

Sea urchin sushi is also called Uni sushi.

In Japan, the word Uni refers to the gonads of sea urchins that people cook and eat. Originally, Uni was only used as a sushi topping after WWII. But due to the introduction of gunkan-maki (battleship rolls) and progress in the manufacturing process, it is more popularity and readily available on the market. Now, you can find many kinds of dishes with Uni like sea urchin sashimi, uni pasta and uni ceviche,...

The different grades of sea urchin sushi

 sea urchin sashimi

People often rely on the color, texture and freshness of Uni to classify it

Sea urchins are one of the best sushi-making sea creatures. Not only does it taste great, but this animal's Uni - the roe (eggs) is really delicious. Uni is the most important part of sea urchin sushi, it gives the dish a richer taste and the smell of the sea.


Uni has a yellow color from dark to light. When enjoyed, we will see its creamy consistency. In addition to using Uni to make sushi, people also use it for dishes such as sea urchin sashimi or sea urchin nigiri.

Not every sea urchin can make good quality sushi urchin. There are many ways to classify Uni.

When based on the color and texture of Uni, grades of uni are divided into 3 main categories: Grade A, Grade B and Grade C, specifically:

  • Uni Grade A is the highest quality grade with a yellow color that is brighter than the others, like gold. The texture of this highest grade uni is firm and has a slightly sweet taste.
  • Grade B uni is a lighter color uni. The yellow color is not very bright. The texture of this Uni is also softer, less fatty, and sweeter.
  • Grade C Uni aka 'vana'. This type of Uni is usually small pieces of Uni that break apart during processing.

In addition, people often rely on the freshness of Uni to classify it, specifically:

  • Fresh uni: nama uni, this type of Uni is fresh Uni that is processed and used immediately after catching sea urchins from the sea.
  • Frozen uni: reito uni
  • Baked and frozen uni: yaki uni
  • Steamed uni: mushi uni
  • Salted uni: shio uni

Sometimes people also rely on the size of the Uni to create sea urchin in sushi because sometimes the size of the Uni is too big for one piece of sushi. The higher the quality of the Uni, the higher the price and the better the taste when making sushi. Although Uni is divided into many types, each type will be suitable for different cooking methods and dishes.



Sea urchin sushi is delicious and interesting food. Is it really as complicated as you think it is? Join us in preparing the necessary ingredients for this dish!


For sushi rice

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup sushi rice (short grain rice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sushi vinegar (optional)

If you don't have sushi vinegar, you can mix 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt together.

For Uni sushi

  • 10 pieces of uni sea urchin fresh
  • 2 sheets of nori seaweed
  • Salmon roes (optional)

Recipe Note

  • Yield: 10
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

How to make Japanese sea urchin nigiri sushi?

 sea urchin japanese

Sea urchin sushi has sweet and briny flavor

To make sea urchin sushi is not difficult if you have all the necessary ingredients as well as detailed instructions. Follow our step-by-step instructions to get your perfect Japanese sea urchin!

Step 1: Cook sushi rice

  • First wash the rice with water to clean the dirt. Put the washed rice and water into the rice cooker and start cooking.
  • Once the rice is cooked, transfer the rice to a bowl to cool it down.
  • While the rice is still very warm, add the sushi vinegar (or homemade vinegar mix) and mix well.

Step 2: Make Uni sushi

  • First, cut each sheet of nori seaweed into 5 equal strips.
  • Wet your hands with vinegar, then shape the rice into an oval, shaping the rice balls equally and having equal weight. Avoid weighing pieces of rice that are too big or too small.
  • Wrap cut strips of nori seaweed around each piece of cooked rice, leaving a 1/2 inch gap at the top of each piece.
  • Seal the wrapped seaweed ends with a few cooked rice grains (press the rice grains in and rub them gently).
  • Place a piece of fresh Uni on top of each piece of freshly wrapped rice. You can add salmon roe to your liking.
  • Serve with soy sauce or wasabi.

Nutrition facts of sea urchin in sushi

Uni or sea urchin meat is a food source that provides a lot of nutrition. In 100 grams of Uni contains 172 calories, it is known that most of the nutrients inside are protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. All substances are healthy, good for health and support effective weight loss.

With the sea urchin sushi recipe that we guide above, you will load into your body:

  • Calories: 72 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 26 IU
  • Vitamin C: 1mg
  • Calcium: 3mg
  • Iron: 1 mg
  • Cholesterol: 1mg
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Potassium: 14mg

Let see how to make simple sea urchin sushi (Gunkan Maki)



It is not difficult for you to make nutritious dishes from seafood; sea urchin sushi is the best choice for you to start. Although you need to be more meticulous in choosing ingredients and preparing the urchin, this sushi is really worth what you spend. Hopefully, the recipe and detailed instructions we give will help you have perfect sushi!

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