food businesses

For the love of uni! Get fresh local uni from this Malabon shop for just P300

Steph Arnaldo

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For the love of uni! Get fresh local uni from this Malabon shop for just P300
Get a fresh batch of your one and uni love from Uni-Shi, sourced from local fishermen!

MANILA, Philippines – Love uni but don’t know where to get a fresh batch that isn’t from a Japanese restaurant AND sold at an exorbitant price? It’s time to go local! In the midst of the pandemic, when restaurants were closed and people’s sashimi cravings were confined to the home, a personal craving for uni led to the birth of Uni-Shi Fresh Sea Urchin, a local home business based in Malabon City.

Uni-Shi sells locally-sourced fresh uni in three sizes: 130g (P290), 230g (P490), and 500g (P680). They’re as fresh as you’d hope uni would be – thick, creamy, compact, and buttery, and super sulit for its price. It’s shucked well (no residue here), isn’t watery, and it doesn’t taste fishy or overly sea-salty either. They’re good enjoyed on its own with calamansi and soy sauce, or cooked in dishes like uni pasta or risotto.

Pandemic beginnings

Uni-Shi started when the owner’s partner was desperately looking for an uni seller online in 2021. Fortunately, she came across one, and bought from that seller regularly until she came up with the idea of reselling it. She posted it online, and customers bought from her, and they realized that there were apparently a lot of individuals keen to buy.

“I realized the potential in her idea. The pandemic affected our clothing business, putting us in financial jeopardy, so I felt driven. First, we became resellers, devoting a significant amount of time and effort to providing and finding new customers. We received more orders throughout the day, and there was a high demand. But when our supplier ran out of supplies, our sale was put on hold,” Uni-Shi told Rappler.

“We realized we couldn’t rely on others and simply be resellers, so why not source ourselves so we could manage the stocks? But we had no idea where we can acquire it from,” they added. They quickly sought out alternative sources, but they were tricked and rejected several times.

“We were determined to build a profitable business, as so the advantages outweighed the risks. We only had one solid source, but supplies were still scarce. We looked for another source and were lucky to find other sources from different locations,” Uni-Shi said.

“We never imagined we’d be in the food business, but as the phrase goes, ‘If a door closes, a window opens.’ Our commitment to not give up in the face of difficulty helped us recognize this opportunity.”

So raw yet so right

Uni-Shi swears on the quality and freshness of its seafood products, as they personally oversee the entire process, from harvesting, cleaning, packaging, to delivery. They make sure that stocks are replenished every other day, and nothing is frozen – only fresh.

“Since we started this business, we have never served frozen uni. Our first priority is quality and freshness, which is why customers can’t compare our uni with others on the market,” they said. After all, Uni-Shi’s tagline is: “From the sea to your plate in support of our local fishermen.”

“Because we’re not just selling uni and other seafood; we’re doing so with the purpose of supporting our fellow fishermen,” they added.

Don’t miss out on Uni-Shi’s other offerings, like the Uni Don (uni sashimi and sushi rice) worth P350. You can’t go wrong with salmon sashimi either, available in 150g (P300), 250g (P475), 300g (P580), and 500g (P970) portions. If you want a variety of fresh sashimi atop sushi rice, the Mixed Chirashi Don (P450) is an option.

If it’s just a platter of good quality sashimi you want, check out the Hokkaido Platter (P1,700) – thinly-sliced raw octopus, salmon sashimi, squid, uni, and shrimp.

Uni-Shi also offers maki choices and sushi rolls that are generous in toppings, like the Crunchy Oishi Roll (P350), Ebi Kani Roll (P350), and a saucy Baked Salmon Sushi Bake (P430) with nori. There’s also a refreshing Ebi and Kani Salad (P195) and filling Sushi Cupcake (P420 for 6 pcs). 

If you love baked clams, don’t sleep on Uni-Shi’s Baked Motoyaki Oysters (P650 for 30 pieces) and Baked Scallops (P530) that are both addictively cheesy, buttery, and garlicky.

To place your orders, you can message Uni-Shi on Facebook. They also recently opened their first physical store in Maysilo, Malabon. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.