From plague to delicacy — reconsidering the purple sea urchin

Urchin ranching allows for greater control over flavor too. As with grass-fed beef or acorn-fed Iberico ham, uni’s flavor stems from its diet.

Omnivorous urchins feast on everything from seaweed to plankton in the wild, so starting with empty urchins plucked straight from the barrens provides a clean slate of flavor.

Bush grows three types of seaweed to feed his crop an all-you-can-eat buffet: brown Macrocystis (the giant kelp often seen washed up on the beach), plus dulse and ogo, two umami-rich species of red seaweed often used for furikake and poke. The resulting roe is a vibrant reddish orange and uncommonly sweet.

Want to try them yourself?

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