Little Italy Mercato Adventures: Sea Urchins

Fresh Local San Diego Sea Urchin

Fresh Local San Diego Sea Urchin

My roomate has a food bucket list of eating something new as she comes by it. Today it was fresh  local San Diego Sea Urchin(as in still moving its spikes). She ate the urchin  with some salt,  lime juice and a bit of hot sauce. Every Saturday at Little Italy in San Diego, the streets are lined up with around 100+ booths for their weekly Mercato or Farmers Market. This is one of their more popular booths selling fresh sea urchin and oysters. Once cracked open, the urchin has an orangy egg or roe that has a buttery texture. The roe, also called uni in Japan are used in Uni Sushi.  These urchins are fished fresh off the San Diego Coastal waters.

The urchins are fished by divers with a grapping hook connected to their arm and a net for storing while underwater. The spikes carry a bit of painful dose of venom when pricked hence using the long hooks. A video of how they are harvested can be viewed here at

If you ever decide to visit the Little Italy Farmers Market on Saturdays, come in before 10:00 AM as the seafood booth often have happy hour specials on oysters. Yummmmm


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