How to cut open fresh sea urchins with a pair of scissors?


Well, if you ever taste sea urchins for your very first time, I know you either love it or hate it. I must admit, sea urchins do have a special flavour that not many people can withstand it. Depending on the quality of the sea urchins, based on where it originates and how fresh it is, the freshness of the sea urchin will dictate the colour and the taste of the sea urchins.

Small Sea Urchins in its spiky hard shells.

If a sea urchin is fresh, its colours can range from a light brown mustard colour or even a bright orange colour. The taste can range from sweet fresh to a bit ocean water taste. Either way, if you love sea urchins and wanted to prepare it on your own at home, you can buy them from farmer’s market or specialized seafood suppliers. I got to admit, buying sea urchins in Toronto would not be an easy task and you won’t expect them to be super fresh from a tank but more like frozen shipped from elsewhere.

Anyhow, how do you cut open a sea urchin when it is a hard round shell with spiky spines all over it? Well, if the sea urchins are relatively small in size, a strong pair of scissors will be sufficed to cut it open. The shells should be soft enough for a pair of sharp scissors to cut open.

Follow the steps below to cut open a sea urchin with a pair of scissors:
(NOTE: Everyone may have different opinions on how to cut open the sea urchins. The method below works for me, so use it at your own risk. Please be advised that I held no responsibility on your safety of opening your sea urchins, open it at your own risk. Please becareful!)

Step 1: Grab a thick pair of gloves or thick towel before you open the sea urchins. The gloves are to give you some protection from the spiky spines from the hard sea urchin shells. If you use a thick towel, it is to place on top of the shell so your left hand can be placed on it to keep the shell in place and to apply some pressure while cutting it open.

Step 2: Grab a pair of sharp, durable, specialized scissors

Step 3: Use the the pointy tip of the scissors blades and poke at a point on the top of the shell, once you found an opening, slowly cut through the top shell. (it’s more like you open the top of the pumpkin top with a circular opening when making a Jack O’Lantern)

A pair of strong, durable pair of scissors to cut open the sea urchins shell

Step 4: The yellow sea urchin meat should still cling onto the inner shell. You should see dark water, those are from the decayed seaweed that the sea urchins intake when they were in ocean. You don’t want those.

Step 5: Slowly open the tap water, don’t go crazy on the tap, turn it on with water slowly coming out, slowly flush out the dark water and the decay seaweed. Once you have cleaned it, there should be yellow sea urchins left for your intake.

Step 6: You can use the shell as a plate presentation to serve to your guests or you can scoop the sea urchins out and put on some bowls or grab some rice and make sea urchin sushi

DONE! You are ready to eat!

If the sea urchins are fresh off the tank, even after cutting it open, you will still see the spiky spines still moving!

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Ready to eat some fresh sea urchins (yellow content)


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