What Is Uni?

Uni (pronounced Oo-Nee) is the harvestable organ found in sea urchin. It is a sustainable and delicious source of nutrients traditionally consumed raw in Japanese sushi as well as regional dishes throughout the Mediterranean.

The Purple Urchin Problem

Purple urchin are proliferating along the West Coast of the United States by the billions, decimating kelp forests which are vital nurseries for many critical marine species.

After decimating a kelp forest and creating an ‘urchin barren’, starving urchin will lie dormant for many years, only to start feasting on new regenerated kelp.

What Is Urchin ‘Ranching’?

We collect empty, overpopulated purple urchins from overgrazed reefs and bring them to our facility where we feed them a proprietary diet to 'fatten them up'. In a few weeks they are ready to consume and are ranched to the highest quality taste, texture, and color.

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Where is the Uni harvested?

The Uni you purchase and consume is harvested off the coast of Southern Oregon around Cape Arago. This area of the Oregon reef is on the precipice, with purple urchin decimating the kelp forest. Our efforts are focused here in order to tip the balance back in favor of the kelp. By pulling purple urchin out of the water, we provide a chance for the kelp to grow back.

Where is the Uni processed?

Our Uni is processed in Newport, Oregon on the site of Yaquina Bay. The harvested purple urchin are brought to our Newport site where they are stored in recirculating seawater until they are processed onsite.

Are there any preservatives added?

Our Uni are processed ‘Ensui’ style, meaning organic and free of additives and preservatives like Alum. We aim to create the highest premium Uni in the United States with the freshest taste.

Why is the Uni in salt water?

Because our Uni is additive and preservative free, they are processed and stored in salt water that we manufacture to retain the salinity of the reef in which they were harvested.

How is the Uni graded?

The Uni is graded between marketable Uni and ‘vana’ grade. Marketable Uni will have no tears. ‘Vana’ grade will be torn and typically frozen for later use in other products. We also have a ‘sushi-grade’ premium tier of the highest quality, sorted by color and sexed.

How long does the Uni last?

Our Uni will last around 6 days post processing. It is best consumed during this period. Any remaining Uni not consumer during this period may be frozen and incorporated into sauces and reductions.

What is the best way to prepare the Uni?

The Uni is best prepared by draining the salt water and doing a quick rinse with fresh water. Let the fresh water drain naturally off the Uni using a colander. After this it is ready to consume for the freshest and purest taste.

How does purple Uni compare to red Uni?

The first thing people usually say when the eat purple Uni is ‘sweet’. The natural sweetness of purple Uni makes it the ‘Kumamoto’ of sea urchin. Purple Uni is typically smaller and more delicate than traditional red Uni. Because of this it is also typically rated higher in Japanese Uni grading and commands higher prices.