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urchins

azapa

51% freediver 49% spearo
Jan 31, 2007
2,623
471
123
53
Central Coast, Chile
Jon, try the reddish/green ones, with shorter spines. They are about tennis ball up to fist size. Those are the best here, and same in California thousands of miles away, they may be the best eaters there too
 

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
488
115
83
Burnaby BC Canada
Is there any way to keep urchins for later, like for special occoasion? Does the raw survive freezing, or what would be the best way then - keeping raw in the shell or scoopng and bagging.
 

azapa

51% freediver 49% spearo
Jan 31, 2007
2,623
471
123
53
Central Coast, Chile
it can be frozen, out of the shell in dense packs, but it looses a lot of taste and texture. good for a rainy day though. try google, I am really no expert.
 

jon penrith

FreeDiving Professional
Nov 26, 2004
124
7
108
Regarding their "special" qualities.I ate a load in preparation for visits over the weekend of my ex wife, wife & girlfriend.None of them turned up so my right arm is now in a sling ; )
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yeti
Mar 20, 2011
704
150
83
Los Angeles
I only just tried some urchins recently; I had them before at a sushi place and been unimpressed. But fresh ones I pulled up out here were quite good and I think I am hooked. So far though, of the half dozen I've brought up and tried, the tounges are TINY compared to photos I've seen of other food urchins... from researching it we have mostly what are called red urchins (they are actually closer to a deep purplish black, with the females being more red), and purple urchins. The purple urchins are typically rather small, with the shell (not counting the spines) being not much bigger than a golfball. The red urchins get really large; the shells are frequently 3-4". Many spots I dive however are just packed with them. The spines on both species are very sharp and stiff; you could never hold one in your hand like people seem to do with other species. I am going to keep an eye out for them now though since I know how yummy they are. Just a bother to collect since they are difficult to fit into a game bag and there is not much meat on them...
 

grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
701
319
153
Scotland
No- they were too fast for me :)

I'll get some next time I'm out - prob tomorrow night and see what they're like.
 

grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
701
319
153
Scotland
Ok - the 'white' urchins Im referring to are actually Edible Urchins, although any I've seen don't have such a vivid red colouration, more of a subtle tint.
 
Mar 20, 2011
704
150
83
Los Angeles
I don't know what your terrain/conditions are like but we have many areas that are urchin barrens where the urchins have eaten everything so it is just rocky bottom and urchins. Previously I had taken urchins from those areas since they were so numerous. Tasted okay but tiny tounges. I did some research and last time grabbed some from small colonies in deeper water in a healthy kelp forrest with much better results--better tasting uni, tounges 2 or 3 times larger than the ones starving in the barrens.
 

grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
701
319
153
Scotland
what do you want?!?! a feckin bar code! :head :D

Give me strength! It would appear the longer you're stuck out in the N Sea the more psychotic you're becoming :)

Barcodes will not stick to urchins, you should know that by now!
 

grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
701
319
153
Scotland
I don't know what your terrain/conditions are like but we have many areas that are urchin barrens where the urchins have eaten everything so it is just rocky bottom and urchins. Previously I had taken urchins from those areas since they were so numerous. Tasted okay but tiny tounges. I did some research and last time grabbed some from small colonies in deeper water in a healthy kelp forrest with much better results--better tasting uni, tounges 2 or 3 times larger than the ones starving in the barrens.

I wouldn't say our urchin populations are out of control in any way but they do seem to be relatively large compared to the ones I've seen discussed here. Typically they are around 4-5 inch diameter.
They do seem to prefer the rocky areas and there are fewer in the more mixed sandy/rocky terrain.
 
Y

Yeti

Guest
Give me strength! It would appear the longer you're stuck out in the N Sea the more psychotic you're becoming :)

Barcodes will not stick to urchins, you should know that by now!

aye but there's plenty of urchins I'd like to stick one on these days....ken!? :D
 
Y

Yeti

Guest
ken kenny? kenny kens ken. ken? :D

What do you reckon is gunna be the best way to transport urchins? just fire into a coolbox of salt water like scallops? I'm sure they'd keep like that untill you get home. Been looking at various other recipies and these look like they could be a very tasy addition to the menu. Looking forward to trying them.
 

azapa

51% freediver 49% spearo
Jan 31, 2007
2,623
471
123
53
Central Coast, Chile
urchins can be kept unopened for couple of days, maybe three. To transport them put them in a box with wet seaweed between each layer. They can be frozen but I would say they loose 50% of their flavour and 75% of their texture. Still great for that pasta dish above though.
 
Mar 20, 2011
704
150
83
Los Angeles
I wouldn't say our urchin populations are out of control in any way but they do seem to be relatively large compared to the ones I've seen discussed here. Typically they are around 4-5 inch diameter.
They do seem to prefer the rocky areas and there are fewer in the more mixed sandy/rocky terrain.

From what I read, the urchin barrens do sometimes happen naturally for unexplained reasons--the population just explodes, eats everything and then hangs out for a very, very long time. That being said, they don't have a lot of natural predators in southern California, at least right off the mainland.

urchins can be kept unopened for couple of days, maybe three. To transport them put them in a box with wet seaweed between each layer. They can be frozen but I would say they loose 50% of their flavour and 75% of their texture. Still great for that pasta dish above though.

I do wet seaweed for lobsters but usually put a little frozen bottle of water or gelpack in to keep them cold; works really well to keep them happy. In my limited experience with them I feel like urchins are one of the hardier shellfish, less susceptible to heat and drying out than most other intertidal creatures I have run into...
 
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