From now until 15th of January we can enjoy this delicious delicacy on the Sea urchin gastronomic days in Gijón. If you are not used to this type of sellfish, let us tell you what we know about it:
What is it?
Sea urchins are sea animals with a water vascular system. Their spherical shape is typically small, ranging from about 6 cm to 12 cm in diameter (2,3 to 4,7 inches) and their bodies are covered with a spiny Shell.
The season to fish and eat them is usually from November to March. It is therefore a winter gastronomy product.
Where can we find them?
Sea Urchins or Oricios (Asturian) live in oceans all over the world, at a depth up to 2.500 m. (8202 feet)
In our region, Asturias, we can find them in half-lying coastal areas, located between 1,5 and 3 m above 0 elevation of sea level.
The horizon is characterised by numerous ponds, mostly occupied by this specie.
We can also find them in the infralittoral zone, located under tidal zone to greater depths.
Until not a long time ago, Asturias was the only place within the Green Spain where the sea urchins were consumed. These days we are the first consumers, but you can also find them in the Basque Country and Catalonia.
Most of the national sea urchin captures are done in Galicia, but they do not consume but sell them all over the world, mostly in Asturias.
How do we fish them?
In Asturias sea urchins are fished on the cracked coastal Stones with low tide. People normally use gears as scrapers, hand hooks, or tridents. In Galicia spear fishermen also gather them.
How do we clean and open them?
Watch it on the following video!:
How do we cook them?
Most people eat them raw or just cooked. In Gijon people use to accompany them with a bottle of cider. There are many other ways to cook this delicious ingredient, such as scrambled eggs with sea urchin, pate or sea urchin sauce to accompany different fishes as hake or sea bass.
To whet the appetite we leave you the menu you can taste on the participating restaurants.
Paté de Oricios (sea urchin pate)
Oricios al natural o cocidos (cooked or raw sea urchins)
Merluza en salsa de oricios (sea urchin sauce hake)
Arroz con leche (rice pudding)
Enjoy your meal!