WE DO NOT GUARANTEE URCHINS TO BE LIVE ON RECEIPT. HOWEVER, URCHINS ARE GUARANTEED TO BE SAFE FOR RAW CONSUMPTION ON RECEIPT.
We sell whole large red and/or black wild live sea urchins, Stronglycentrotus franciscanus. These are the same Southern Californian sea urchins that sushi chefs around the globe use for uni sushi. Each sea urchin weighs approximately one pound and contains five pieces of uni.
Sea urchins are bottom feeding “echinoderms” that are found in every ocean around the world. The urchins that we process range from dark blackish purple to red in color. They are covered with short to long spines. The diameter of the shell can get up to six inches. The average weight of a sea urchin is one pound. California sea urchins are usually found in kelp beds near the coastline in about 50 feet of water.
Sea urchins are harvested for their internal roe—“uni” in Japanese—which is considered an aphrodisiac in some cultures. Uni is known as a delicacy in Japan and sushi bars worldwide because of its sweet flavor and succulent texture that melts in your mouth. Our exact technique of processing uni is a trade secret that we've perfected over the last 20 years. In fact, our business started with owner Dave Rudie diving for sea urchins and seaweed. Sushi bars from across the country know that the best uni comes from Southern California, and Catalina Offshore Products. We keep our product in coolers that are maintained at 32 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit until it is packed and shipped daily. We pack in insulated containers with gel-ice for the best quality. Wooden trays house the strips of uni for a traditional Japanese presentation.
Uni Grades: The gold and premium grades of uni are always fresh, and the vana is frozen unless otherwise requested to be fresh. All grades of uni taste good and can be eaten raw.
California Gold: Bright yellow/orange, firm texture (formerly A-Grade)
California Premium: Mild yellow color, softer pieces (formerly B-Grade)
Vana: Dark color, melting soft, also known as Vana (formerly C-Grade)
Our fresh and live seafood products are as fresh as you can get because we purchase directly from reputable fishermen in California and Baja California who take great pride in providing the highest quality seafood. The seafood is caught and immediately iced or brought to our live tanks until you order. We package it with care, keep it cold in insulated boxes and ship it overnight with FedEx so that it reaches your door fresher than the vast majority of most supermarkets and restaurants.