The status of sea urchins in Japanese food

Issuing time:2021-06-21 09:56

Although the history of Japanese eating sea urchins can be traced back to the 9th century, it is only 50 or 60 years since it became popular in Japan. In the long years before that, sea urchins were only local ingredients confined to remote areas such as Hokkaido, and no one paid attention to them in the core areas such as Honshu.

Until the 1960s, with the development of railway and fresh-keeping technology, some people began to introduce fresh sea urchins from Hokkaido to Tokyo Tsukiji market through Jr railway line, hoping that the people of Tokyo can also feel the incomparable delicacy of this northeast local specialty.



图片 1.jpgHowever, people are more or less wary of imported ingredients that they have never touched before. It's not so easy for Tokyo diners to break through their guard and swallow sea urchins that look strange and taste beyond conventional cognition. The chefs who are used to cooking edoqian food are also at a loss to deal with this "strange thing".

As a result, sea urchins, now the favorite of Japanese food stores, were left out in the cold when they landed in Tokyo.

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Until the early leader of the palace level sushi shop "jiubingwei" in Ginza, he first used seaweed to wrap sea urchins with vinegar rice. The sour taste of vinegar rice can just neutralize the sweetness of sea urchin, and the tidal taste of seaweed can match the delicious taste of sea urchin. Sea urchin, seaweed and vinegar rice have good chemical reactions with each other, forming a solid "taste iron triangle".



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Maybe the right way to open the sea urchin is finally found, and the sea urchin has a firm foothold in the sushi industry. Based on this "large-scale real fragrant scene", sea urchins can continue to expand geographically and technologically, spread to all kinds of cooking fields in Japan, and quickly set off a global upsurge.

There is more than one way to open sea urchins

Sea urchin warship roll

In sushi terms, the method of using seaweed to surround the vinegar rice ball and put the ingredients on it is called "warship roll", which is often used in sea urchin, salmon eggs, flying fish seeds, crab roe and other food materials that are difficult to be molded. Under the "bombardment" of warships, sea urchins have successfully pried the conservative Tokyo market and are worthy of the respect of sea urchin cuisine.




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At present, the practice of sea urchin sushi is mainly based on warship roll, and even "God of sushi" Ono Erlang is also a supporter. But in fact, there is always a dispute about the compatibility between sea urchin and seaweed in Japan: "purists" believe that the strong aroma and taste of seaweed will cover up the flavor of sea urchin, and they prefer to directly pinch sushi without seaweed.

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Sea urchins holding sushi is a great test for sushi masters

Rice with sea urchin

If you want to enjoy the delicious sea urchin at one time, what's more luxurious than sea urchin meal? Will be full of sea urchins, covered in rice, and then swallow together, such enjoyment, no one can resist!



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If you want to further enhance the flavor, you can also sprinkle some salmon eggs. When the two "Hokkaido natives" meet, they will win countless lives. The sweetness of sea urchins and the saltiness of fish eggs collide fiercely. They raise their eyebrows and make up the vinegar rice.

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From the visual sense, we can feel the passionate collision between the two "Hokkaido villagers"

Sea urchin tempura

Sea urchin is a kind of extremely delicate food. It will break if forced a little, and melt when heated. At first glance, it is obviously not suitable for rough frying. Therefore, sea urchin tempura sounds like an "impossible task". But in fact, sea urchins have become a new favorite in today's Brano shop, such as a smart eater and a smart chef?


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Roll up the sea urchin with perilla leaves or seaweed, drag the paste on it and fry it in the pan. Just wait for the golden skin to be crisp and quickly remove it. It takes less than 10 seconds. The sea urchins wrapped under the crispy skin gush out with a bite, which is not covered by the simple "crispy outside, tender inside, melting in the mouth".

Steamed egg with sea urchin

Generally speaking, sea urchins are mainly eaten raw, but steamed sea urchins can retain their fresh and sweet taste completely. Both in Japan and China, it is popular to steam eggs with sea urchin, but there is a slight difference: in Japan, "tea bowl steaming" is more popular, while in coastal areas of China, the egg liquid is directly poured into the shell of sea urchin and steamed until solidified.


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Steamed egg with Chinese sea urchin

Sea urchins and eggs are both fresh, sweet and moist, as if they were born to raise eyebrows. The sea urchin's taste of sea tide makes them fresher and better.



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Steamed tea bowl in Japanese style

Sea urchin spaghetti

Sea urchins are not patented in Japan, and Westerners love them to death. In France, where sea urchins are abundant, sea urchins, oysters, mussels and other seafood will be put together to form a platter; When it comes to Italy, it is undoubtedly the world of spaghetti.



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Sea urchin has a thick taste like cream, which is a perfect match for white spaghetti with a lot of cream. When the two are integrated, sea urchin is not only an accessory, but also a sauce. At the same time, Japanese, who are obsessed with sea urchins and pasta, integrate Japanese food into them and reinterpret them with Oriental thinking: for example, adding Prince ming to further enhance the freshness of the ocean, or giving a fresher flavor through perilla.



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Sea urchin: sea urchin is yellow, orange red and deep in color. Its appearance is very similar to that of sea urchin. It is slightly larger and has a sweeter flavor. It is considered to be the most high-grade sea urchin


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Purple sea urchin: the shell is purple, the thorn is much longer than the horse dung sea urchin, the sea urchin is yellow, the flavor is relatively elegant, is the most common sea urchin species in Japan.

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North purple sea urchin: the shell is also purple, which is easy to be confused with purple sea urchin. However, it is bigger than purple sea urchin, and the shell can reach about 10 cm. Sea urchin yellow is very light yellow, which is the highest grade with shrimp Yima dung sea urchin. It is a favorite variety of "God of sushi" Ono Erlang.

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Red sea urchin: the shell is red, and the sea urchin yellow is golden. It has a strong taste. Because of its small yield and high price, it is not as famous as the shrimp Yima dung sea urchin and the North purple sea urchin, but also highly praised by gourmets.

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It should be noted that the above "purple sea urchin" or "red sea urchin" is named according to the shell color of sea urchin. In the jargon of the Japanese industry, it is customary to call the sea urchin "white sea urchin" and "red sea urchin" according to the color of the flesh (that is, the color of sea urchin yellow). Don't confuse them

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According to the classification, it can be divided into a, B and C levels. Grade A is the highest, representing the best freshness, sweetness and compactness, which also represents the industry's basic criteria for judging the quality of sea urchins: fresh quality, no peculiar smell; The taste is sweet and less bitter; The appearance is complete without damage.


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