Summer is here and it’s the prime season for the ball of spikes to take the spotlight. A long favourite amongst Hong Kong seafood lovers; the orange sea urchin roe is creamy and delicate that gives an umami explosion to every dish.

Head Chef Ogawa introduces the sea urchin in Gin Sai to celebrate the fresh taste of Hokkaido; yet takes a new spin on how we should eat uni (a Japanese term to describe the the sea urchin).

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Chef Ogawa kicks off with sea urchin shabu shabu; a new twist on the traditional, the base of the dish is a pot of rich soup made from the freshest sea urchin and dashi; a beautiful burst of umami flavours. Chef Ogawa comments on his favourite and preferred way of eating uni; “Take a fish sashimi slice and wrap it up with a portion of sea urchin and a piece of choice vegetable. Then you carefully cook the fish roll in the sea urchin soup for 5 seconds and let cool for a moment before eating. When the fish meat is cooked in the rich and sweet sea urchin soup, the inside of the fish roll is left tender and sweet to contrast with the soft, creamy half cooked sea urchin surrounding it. Double uni taste! It’s to die for!”

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Another method that Chef Ogawa approaches uni is to swish-swish the fresh white fish sashimi into the soup and complement it with some raw vegetables to refresh the palate; thus, creating a rich and flavoursome meal. At the end of all the swishing, the pot with the uni soup is whisked away and returns as a Japanese congee, creamy and savoury.  

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Gin Sai also offers a sea urchin shabu shabu set ($950), which is the best way for two or more to share the uni feast. The set includes a pot of sea urchin soup, a box of sea urchin, a portion of seasonal white fish and vegetables of kombu, rocket leaves, lettuce and onion.

Gin Sai

32-38 Cross Ln, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone: 2574 1118

Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12:00-14:30; 18:30-22:30

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