Not a day goes by on Instagram without a couple of photos of uni popping up on my Instagram feed. Sounds like you, too? Well, you're not alone. Given the fact that we appear to have reached peak uni, it's not surprising that this Japanese staple is now a regular dinner guest on the menu of many of NYC's hautest restaurants in NYC. 

beer, wine, pizza
Weichen Yan

A little background information: uni, the Japanese name for the edible part of the sea urchin, is becoming increasingly popular in America. In fact, it's so popular that SakaMai, a stylish sake bar and restaurant on the Lower East Side, has an entire section of their menu dedicated to it. While commonly thought of as roe or eggs, uni is actually the gonads - the organ that produces the roe. Creamy, briny and buttery, it's considered a delicacy. Since I was curious about how it could be incorporated into a menu in new and inventive ways, I headed over to SakaMai and decided to see uni in action for myself:

sushi, rice
Weichen Yan

Wagyu and Uni Roll

This sushi roll is filled with wagyu beef, pickles and wasabi, and topped with of course, uni. The pickles offset the fattiness of the wagyu, and the uni complimented the sushi well. 

caviar, sweet, dairy product, fish, cream
Weichen Yan

Egg on Egg on Egg

Perhaps Sakamai's most famous and Instagrammed dish, this is a flavor and texture explosion. It has scrambled egg, uni, and sturgeon caviar. Make sure you get a bite of everything in each spoonful - the saltiness from the caviar popping in your mouth against the buttery uni and silky scrambled egg is absolutely heavenly.

Uni Mazemen

spaghetti, sauce, pasta
Weichen Yan

This is my favorite of all the uni dishes offered on the menu. It has ramen noodles topped with uni and bottarga (salted, cured fish roe), and is served with bone marrow on the side that you scoop into the noodles and mix everything together. The result is heaven in every bite - the fattiness of the bone marrow, the creaminess of the uni and the saltiness of the bottarga against the al dente noodles create the perfect marriage of flavors. 

Truffle Uni Rice Pot

If you're going with a group, you have to try the Truffle Uni Rice Pot: delicious Maitake rice cooked in a stone pot, which is chef-served tableside and topped with seared uni and shaved truffle. 

Hungry? We are too...again. Time to head to SakaMai for that #unilife.