Creamy, plump, rich in briny umami and with a gentle sweetness, uni (sea urchin) from Hokkaido is an absolute delicacy. Uni comes in several varieties and is harvested nationwide across Japan, but those from Hokkaido are particularly venerated and highly prized. What makes them so special? Here we decipher the secrets behind the exceptional quality of uni from the northern island of Japan.
Uni Grading System Like any premium product, Uni pricing is based on its grading. This is especially true for Uni headed to the Uni Auction Market, where auctioneers trade hundreds of Uni every morning. Uni auctioneers determine Uni grading by color and texture, and those closer to having a golden color or more discernible bumps on the surface merit more value.