So this food took a little more work that the previous posts... and you have to risk a venomous sting. Dad has collected white sea urchins in the Caribbean before where we had a sushi chef prepare them for us. This time we were collecting black sea urchin, which unlike the white ones are venomous and we had nobody to help prepare them.
We headed out to the reef at low tide, Mom and Noah helped spot the urchins under the reef and in their hiding spots and Dad pried them free and carried them to shore.
It is a little tricky carrying them with just two sticks because they wiggle their spines quiet a bit and you don't want to touch them. Next time we'll bring a bag or bucket.
The urchins have beaks, kinda like an octopus beak, on their undersides. Once you break away most of the spines for safeties sake, you tap around the beak where their shell is softest to break it open.
The internal part of the beak was way bigger than I expected, it's the white thing sitting on top of the urchin. The cavity is filled with sand and a dark filmy tissue which you have to scrape and rinse away with a little water, ocean water in this case.
Once everything is cleaned up, there are little strips of spongy flesh running along the interior of the shell. We just used a spoon to to scrape them out and enjoy. For you none sushi goers, it tastes like the sea and is most certainly best fresh. If you ever see "uni" on the sushi menu, this is it!
Each of our little urchins produced little more than a spoonful each, but it was delicious and fun catching and preparing our own snack at the beach.
We washed it all down with a coconut that fell from a nearby tree. Mom has become an expert at opening the young coconuts.
The Jaskowiak Family
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