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Author Topic: Urchin Pointers?  (Read 1260 times)

Offline swaziloo

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Urchin Pointers?
« on: November 28, 2010, 09:47:41 AM »
I'm just going to admit right now that I've been totally faking it when it comes down to urchin.  I have a few friends who are really into it, but usually once I've cleaned it, and I have that smell on my hands, I really don't want to eat it.  That said, I'd like to be better at it.  On Friday I pulled a huge red and huge purple (looked almost black - not the light ones) for my friend and cleaned both.



Those pieces are each about half the size of my palm.  The ones on the left were "drier" and had more of a yellow "cream" in them.  They came from the red urchin.  The pieces on the right were brighter orange and oozing the white "cream."  Those came from the purple.  My friend tried both, and said the purple was the tastier of the two.  He didn't eat all of it, so when cleaning up later on I put the remaining pieces of the purple on a covered plate in the fridge.  After sitting overnight, he said they were way better, having lost the bitter tidepool taste.

So help me out:
  • Are the bright orange/white creamy gonads always from the purple urchins?
  • Am I calling them the right thing, are the really dark ones purple or black or what?
  • I'm gently rinsing them in fresh water after pulling off all the other bits, but I wonder if letting them soak a bit more was what improved the flavor?
  • Is bigger better with urchin?  Would smaller urchin taste any different?
  • Any other urchin tips from the pros?
Ken Goudey

echinoderminator

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 10:40:40 AM »
The red and purple are the same species - Stongylocentrotus franciscanus
Males and females can be either variation of color.
In your photo are a male (white oozer, go figure) and female (orange oozer)
Males are generally considered the choicer of the two because of firmness, vibrant color and some would say sweetness.
A day or two in cold storage is said to mellow the flavor.
Urchin live a long time (possibly over 100 years) bigger is not better. Medium is usually more vibrant and firm.
Here's an alternative recipe to the usual raw w/sushi rice, nori, shoyu and wasabi is...

Get a nice thick fillet of sea bass, which should be in season now. Get it with skin on -- this matters. (I think the Pacific bass is what the Japanese call suzuki; in the East we'd use stripers.) Salt it, let rest 30 minutes, then rinse gently and pat very dry. With a very sharp, thin knife, slice the meat thinly without passing through the skin, so it's like little leaves of flesh attached to the skin. Skewer it crosswise and then at an angle with a few thin bamboo or metal skewers so it'll hold together. Baste the skin with very hot oil two or three times, then the flesh side once. Broil on the skin side for 2 minutes to make a very crunchy brown skin. Remove the skewers. Take as much sea urchin as you can and pack it on and between the leaves of the flesh, so it's pretty much totally coated. Broil it on the flesh side until the sea urchin is sizzling and just turning golden. Serve immediately with wedges of citrus, ideally sudachi lime but you could use Key limes or something else very sour and floral that happens to be around.


echinoderminator

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 10:48:26 AM »
Substitue catch of the day in above recipe.

I have made tempura using urchin - partial freeze prior to batter helps alot. It was great.

They are great smeared on good bread, combined with various ingredients and broiled.

I like to do a souffle with the gonads and bake it in the shell for presentation.

In Chile they make a great ceviche with urchin.

There's no end to what can be done really but it's frustratingly tough to find culture specific recipes.

Offline rafterman

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 07:04:57 PM »
I like it right at the waters edge.
lye it with mouth up, crack around mouth with an iron, pull pieces of shell out to make a cup from the shell, wait for small wave to rinsed with sea water, take the filet's one at a time in our mouth for the sweet flavor of the sea.
Do what You want to do…

Glaucus

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 07:27:02 PM »
 :thumbsup: 
I like it right at the waters edge.
lye it with mouth up, crack around mouth with an iron, pull pieces of shell out to make a cup from the shell, wait for small wave to rinsed with sea water, take the filet's one at a time in our mouth for the sweet flavor of the sea.

Offline Mhathhorn

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 07:57:52 PM »
I cream the urchin and cook it with thinly sliced  celery and herbs over angel hair pasta.  Also urchin and scrambled eggs is good.

Offline maodiver

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 10:39:45 PM »
 :puke:
Dad, what's for dinner?

Wookie steaks

Are they good?

Ehhh, they're a little Chewy.

Offline hamachijohn

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 11:19:21 AM »
ditto.
our family's 2nd favorite way of eating it- top it over rice, put in a few drops of soy sauce, some sesame seed oil, then mix it good with a spoon.  yum yum.

:thumbsup: 
I like it right at the waters edge.
lye it with mouth up, crack around mouth with an iron, pull pieces of shell out to make a cup from the shell, wait for small wave to rinsed with sea water, take the filet's one at a time in our mouth for the sweet flavor of the sea.

Offline Mike K

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Re: Urchin Pointers?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 02:19:13 PM »
After cleaning, put it on the flat dish and pour some VODKA on it.
Wait about 2-3 minute( it will improve texture..), and eat it.
 

 

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