The sea urchin is an exotic product. It swims in the Pacific Ocean and is very popular in East Asia. Sea urchins are also very popular in Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. Tourists highly appreciate the sea urchin dishes. The main distinguishing feature of this delicacy is the presence of sharp needles, which protect against external threats and obtain food. The needles also help you navigate the ocean floor.
Are sea urchins valuable? Sea urchins are extremely valuable for our health since they increase the adaptive capabilities of a person to increased physical activity, accelerates the body’s recovery in case of overwork, stimulates hematopoiesis, normalizes the level of leukocytes, increases the level of hemoglobin and erythrocytes in the blood.
But these are not the only reasons why sea urchins are so good and valuable for our health. Let’s dive into the reasons why sea urchins are so popular, valuable, and expensive.
Why Are Sea Urchins So Valuable?
Sea urchins are so valuable because they reduce stress, help to concentrate, strengthens the capillaries of the brain, protect from seasonal epidemics of respiratory infections in large cities, stabilizes the function of the endocrine system, removes the toxins from the body. All this makes sea urchins extremely valuable for our health.
Nutritional value per 100 g: 13.8 g of proteins, 4.3 g of fat, 2.5 g of carbohydrates. The product is low-calorie, 100 g contains only 86 kcal. Sea urchin roe is slightly higher in calories — 104 kcal per 100 g. The product’s glycemic index is only 15 units, which makes it an acceptable product for those who have diabetes.
Sea urchins contain many elements and vitamins that make them very valuable, namely:
- Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and water-soluble vitamins C, B6, P – niacin, B2 – riboflavin, B1 – thiamine, folacin, etc.
- Biologically active substances: carnitine, dopamine and norepinephrine, sterols, peptides, fatty acids, terpenoids, aromatic compounds, and saponins.
- Protein mixtures with a sufficiently high specific activity of thymidine and thymidylate kinase enzymes.
- Bioactive suspension with the presence of two types of endodeoxyribonucleases, which are designated respectively as Ca, Mg-dependent, and acidic metal-independent DNases.
- Carotenoids, naphthoquinones, and melanin.
- Additionally, depending on the season, lipofuscin is present.
Is Sea Urchin Good for Your Health?
What are sea urchins good for? Sea urchins give powerful support for the nervous system during periods of stress overload, moments that require an increased concentration of attention, and long periods without the possibility of sleep. Sea urchin consumption significantly activates the work of the human reproductive and circulatory systems, strengthening the brain’s capillaries, serving as powerful prevention of stroke and sclerosis. Sea urchins protect us from seasonal epidemics of respiratory infections in large cities and stabilize the endocrine system’s function.
What are the benefits of eating sea urchin? The benefits of eating sea urchins are the rejuvenation of the body, the growth of physical, mental, and reproductive abilities. Sea urchin’s useful and medicinal properties are because echinoderms daily eat algae, which nourish meat and caviar with an exceptional composition of minerals, vitamins, and other substances.
Sea urchins roe improves blood formation, promotes tissue regeneration, prevents cancer, removes toxins and radionuclides from the human body. It reduces the unwanted effects of radiation therapy, normalizes the state of the gastrointestinal tract, improves the body’s adaptation to adverse conditions, helps with fatigue, and reduces the impact of stressful situations on health.
Literally half an hour after taking sea urchin roe, a person feels a surge of strength, efficiency increases, attention, and memory improves. In Japan, sea urchin is primarily valued for its anti-ageing properties, the ability to increase the body’s defences.
Why Are Sea Urchins So Expensive?
Why are sea urchins expensive? Sea urchins are expensive because intense fishing leads to their shortage even in the sea urchin-dense areas. The demand is a lot bigger than the supply. Sea urchins must be eaten fresh, but they die quickly, so lack of time and shortage of the sea urchin supply make sea urchins costly.
How expensive is sea urchin? According to Citarella supermarket, 1 pound of a fresh wild sea urchin in 2021 will cost $13. 1 pound of sea urchin (uni) roe Grade A will cost $315, and 1 pound of sea urchin (uni) roe Grade B will cost $198.
Sea urchin roe is a delicacy and is best eaten on its own and enjoyed. Its subtle taste reminds of oysters with meaty notes to some – a sweetish scallop with a taste of ripe papaya.
It’s nice to add some sauce to the sea urchin roe, but not to hammer the whole delicate taste, but to make the taste brighter. You can cook ponzu, a light Japanese sauce based on citrus fruits, soy sauce, and rice wine. Citrus fruits generally go well with sea urchins. But you shouldn’t take lime as it’s too acidic. Sweet lemons, tangerines, orange, a couple of drops of yuzu juice will go great.
You can make sea urchin roe tartare with fresh cucumber. Raw egg yolk goes well with sea urchins and has a certain similarity in taste, and the egg well compliments the fresh, iodine taste of this sea creature.
Sea urchins are often used for cooking pasta. For example, you can cook spaghetti del Mare, and before serving, add aromatic, sea-flavored orange sea urchin roe. The main thing here is not to overexpose the roe on the fire, let it remain raw.
You can also put a teaspoon of sea urchin roe in a glass of sake and immediately drink it. Or serve canapes made from a slice of fresh apple or cucumber with caviar on top of a glass of champagne.
What to drink with sea urchin row? The same combinations work here as with oysters. Of course, it’s a good idea to serve champagne, and sake will go well, too. But the best match for sea urchin is white wine. Something too fruity, perfumery, with a sharp acidity will not work here. The bouquet should be very light, unobtrusive. In general, the sea urchin is not food but decoration. It is important not to gorge yourself, but to taste, to get aesthetic pleasure from the process.