July 24, 2009

An Extravagant Meal, Part II/贅沢な食事、パート2

The story goes back to a few days before Father's Day this year. I wanted to send something special to my father. I knew he liked yaki uni (baked sea urchin), so I called him and asked if yaki uni would be OK with him, and he said yes. I also wanted to give something to my mother, because I didn't give her anything on Mother's Day. (I know she gets angry when I give her a present on a special day. She will say, "I don't want anything! Buy something for your children!") I talked to my mother, and she said (surprisingly) she wanted to have mentaiko (spicy cod roe). She said she could not find decent mentaiko at supermarkets. So, my search for both yaki uni and mentaiko began. That is, a supplier that could ship both high-quality yaki uni and mentaiko at a time in a single package and that seemed reliable. I searched and searched, and did more searches for more than half an hour, but still no luck. I took a rest and drank some green tea, and after the third intensive search session, I managed to find one shop that met my criteria. Yamakou Katagiri Sengyo Ten, in Kamaishi city, Iwate prefecture
Product list:
I ordered one glass bottle of fresh uni, four yaki uni on seashells, and one pack of mentaiko. Both my parents thanked me for giving them such wonderful, expensive gifts.
Weeks went by, and I got so curious about the flavor of fresh uni so I decided to buy some for myself and my family. So, I ordered:
1. 1 bottle of fresh 150 g uni: 1,880 yen
Fresh uni in ozone-sterilized seawater. No additives or preservatives. (Most importantly, NO ALUM added.)
2. 1 yaki uni: 1,380 yen
3. 230 g tarako (cod roe) with no artificial coloring: 1,030 yen
4. 300 g mentaiko (spicy cod roe): 1,740 yen
Shipping cost: 1,050 yen
Total: 7,080 yen
The fresh uni was sweet, creamy, and not fishy at all. Cheap ones you can get at supermarkets are often bitter and fishy.

1. 生ウニ 1瓶(150 g) 1,880円
2. 焼きウニ 一つ 1,380円
3. 無着色たらこ230 g 1,030円
4. 明太子300 g 1,740円
送料 1,050円
合計 7,080円
Fresh uni, drained:
Caution: DON'T RINSE!

For lunch today, I made nigiri topped with leftover uni. Sorry for the unappetizing photo!

I really regret not having finished off the uni last night. Even the freshest uni will taste worse the next day...
In my next post, I will talk about the yaki uni!

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