Maguro or tuna was considered as trash fish, not preferred during the Edo period and its fatty part was discarded. A maturing period of 4-10 days is set in order to bring out best in maguro such as a fine sourness and faint sweetness of fat. Its sleek, shiny looking deserves the title of “king of sushi”. And there are actually 3 main grades of maguro or tuna that are commonly served including Akami being the darkest red, slightly lighter one is Chu toro and the lightest of the three, Otoro.
Salmon is endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean, where it is dominant in the subarctic surface zone, but is not distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. Since the same or closely related species of Bonito, Albacore, and other surface fishes and squids are distributed in the North and South Pacific, one wonders why salmon is not distributed there.
Although still in the research stage, Slender tuna (Allothunnus fallai Serventy, 1948), which has a similar diet to Pink salmon, Chum salmon, and Sockeye salmon in the North Atlantic and is analogous to the huge stocks of these species, seems to occupy the same ecological role as the plankton-eating salmon.
Slender tuna is a species of tuna, the only species in the genus Allothunnus, found around the world in the southern oceans between latitudes 20°and 50° South. It is a close relative of genus Sarda, whose Japanese names are Arotsunasu and Hoso-gatsuo.
It has small second dorsal and anal fins resembling a small albacore, but the slender tuna lacks the long sweeping pectoral fins characteristic of albacores. As the name implies, it’s more slender and elongated than other tuna types. It has a blue-black back and silver-to-gray sides. The pectoral and pelvic fins are purple on their distal portions and black near their bases. Its length is up to 1 meter and it can weigh up to 12 kilograms.
It is a species of minor commercial importance, taken mainly as a bycatch by fisheries for other tuna species. It is richer in fat than bonito, and its dark flesh is not suitable for sashimi. It tastes better when cooked, but is rarely used as fresh fish, and is instead used for canning.
It can pack 3700 milligrams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids per 100 grams. Next highest in omega-3s are the more readily available farmed fish, such as the striped perch, and Atlantic salmon.
Longtail tuna inhabits continental shell and ocean waters in warm temperate and tropical regions of the Ind-west pacific. The dark blue-backed fish is recognized by their short pectoral fins and slender body. Its tail is long compared to other tuna. It is also distinguished by the presence of elongated, colorless spots on the underside and belly, between the pectoral and anal fins. As the name suggests, it is characterized by a rather long tail from the tail fins to the tail.
It reaches a maximum length of 1.5 m and up to 32 kg in weight. It is caught by longline fishing in Southeast Asia and Australia.
The Japanese name is Koshinaga maguro (腰長鮪). It is caught in small numbers in Kagoshima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa prefectures, but its numbers are small and it is the least caught species of the tuna genus, so it is traded only in its place of origin and rarely appears on the market. In addition, juvenile tuna look similar to bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and albacore. Therefore, they are sometimes confused in the market.
What does Longtail tuna (Koshinaga maguro) sushi taste like?
In northern Kyushu and Sanin regions where bonito are not caught, however, it is an autumn treat. Most of its flesh is red meat, and its taste is refreshing so it is eaten as sashimi. However its fat is not sweet and has little acidity, so it is not suitable for nigiri sushi. In Australia and Southeast Asia, it is eaten as steak or sauteed.
Blackfin tuna is one of the smallest members of the species of Tuna belonging to the genus called Thunnus and family of Scombridae. The English name blackfin tuna comes from its black pectoral fins and other fins. It is known by various interesting names like Blackfinned Albacore, Bermuda and football due to its typical football like appearance.
The Japanese name is Taiseiyou maguro (大西洋鮪). There is also a species called Taiseiyou Kuro-maguro (Atlantic bluefin tuna), which is very confusing. It is not distributed in the Japanese market.
The range of distribution of these tuna is restricted as they can only be spotted in the West Atlantic Ocean, encompassing the Gulf of Mexico, southern Brazil and the Caribbean Sea. This is unique for a species of Tuna to have a limited range but it probably has something to do with the Blackfin Tuna’s preference to migrate to temperate waters above 20℃. It is especially common in the Gulf of Mexico, where it is a favorite target of sports fishermen.
It can be identified by a dark-blue to black stripe across its back usually with a golden hue under it and a silver belly. It is the smallest in the Tuna family reaching lengths of about 1 m and weight of 20 kg. It is at its peak during autumn, winter, and spring in Florida Keys. Only 0.4 tons per year of blackfin tuna is caught in the world.
What does Blackfin tuna (Taiseiyou maguro) sushi taste like?
Though it doesn’t quite measure up to world-class bluefin, yellowfin or bigeye tuna in food value, it is very good in its own right. The top preparation method with fresh blackfin is undoubtedly sushi or sashimi, as it yields an incredible flavor and texture when raw, but it also excels on the grill or is seared over high heat. It also makes a delectable tuna salad.
There are three elements that make good quality Kuromaguro（Bluefin tuna）.
They are decidedly, color, fragrance and texture.
First of all, color does not simply refer to the color of the cross-section when the fish is cut with a butcher knife.
It refers to how long the fish maintains its “characteristic coloring”. After all, tuna darkens as time passes, eventually turning a burnt-brown color. The true, visual charm of Kuromaguro is the eye-awakening red color that catches your attention when the sushi is placed on a counter or plate. This wonderful coloring is a characteristic of tuna caught through longline fishing or single‐hook fishing. On the other hand, it is said that those caught in round haul nets don’t hold their color and don’t last long. When frozen tuna is thawed, it turns brown within a day. This focus on color is based more on Japanese restaurants that serve sashimi at tables that are located farther away from where the food is being prepared, than on sushi. Incidentally, Mebachi, despite also being tuna, holds its color longer than Kuromaguro does and is suitable for take-out sushi. Minamimaguro is a darker red color than Kuromaguro, but it also loses its color quicker. Kihada maintains its color best.
Next, where does Kuromaguro’s appealing fragrance come from?
The truth is that the source of fish flavor components is still being researched and there are a lot of unknowns. What we do know is that this fragrance is made up of many volatile compounds, but since there are only trace amounts of each one, they are difficult to analyze.
Yet, in the case of expensive Kuromaguro, every measure possible is taken to make sure this fragrance is maintained. Kuromaguro is a migratory fish that gets around by swimming at high speeds in the surface layer of the sea. It needs strong muscles to swim this fast. it also needs to circulate blood throughout its entire body in order to vigorously move those muscles. When a tuna violently struggles to resist and twists its body to avoid being caught, the proteins in its muscles (myosin and myoglobin) rapidly react with oxygen and start to degenerate. This causes Yake and the oxidized odor of tuna. It is important to catch the tuna while causing it as little stress as possible, quickly remove the organs and then use ice to rapidly cool the entire body. If this process is delayed then the pleasant fragrance will transform into an odor. In other words, the scent of Kuromaguro all depends on how it is processed after being caught.
The meat of Kuromaguro that is properly processed emits a unique aroma with a slightly acidic taste when you put it in your mouth. That fragrance lingers for a long time and it combines beautifully with the acetic acid of the sushi rice to go straight to your nose. Then, the moment the fish has disappeared down your throat, the scent of the iron and a subtle acidic taste linger very nicely. This experience is only possible with the exceptional Kuromaguro.
As for the texture, this is determined by the fat distribution of the tuna.
Especially in winter, the Harakami cross-section of Kuromaguro is marbled, much like the Ribulose of Wagyu beef. The melting point for the fat of high-quality tuna is low, and it starts to dissolve even at human skin temperature. This is why sushi chefs who are particular about the sense of unity between shari (sushi rice) and tuna, say, “Shari should be skin temperature.”
There are many chefs who say that the umami of Kuromaguro is in the fat. In the first place, Kuromaguro is one of the fattier fish, and especially between autumn and winter, the Kuromaguro that fed on Surumeika and Sanma has exceptional Harakami. The organs of both Surumeika and Sanma are rich, full-bodied and delicious, even when grilled and eaten by humans. In other words, it is the Surumeika and Sanma that the tuna feeds on that determine the quality of meat. As an example of the meat quality of tuna being affected by what that tuna fed on, Kuromaguro in the Atlantic ocean that has fed on Nishin may exhibit the scent of Nishin when made into sashimi.
However, having a high fat content is not the most important factor. For example, farmed Kuromaguro is fed a high-protein diet so that it will be fatty regardless of the season. Yet, the fat is tougher than that of the wild fish and it’s not something that leaves you wanting a lot more. In comparison, the fat of wild Kuromaguro has a fine texture throughout, immediately melts in your mouth and is digested easily. As sushi chefs know, the fresh fish seems to suction to their hands when making the nigiri sushi. In the same way, it has a smoothness that seems to suction to your tongue when you put it in your mouth. Once you’ve swallowed, it leaves you craving more.
Tuna fishing methods include Purse seine fishing, Fixed-net fishing, Drift-net fishing and Longline fishing, among others. Ocean fishing for tuna in the South Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, is often done by longline fishing. A main line can exceed 150 km in length and have over 3,000 hooks hanging from it. A main line is let out for 6 to 7 hours, and it takes 3 to 4 hours from running the line in the sea, to catching tuna. After that it takes another 10 to 15 hours to reel it up, so the tuna that was caught early may have already died during this time. There are times when sea water may feel warm to the touch, even in the dead of winter. The problem here is, that the body of the tuna that died early, will be warmer if the sea water is warmer. The body temperature will also be unusually high if a tuna caught by a hook ends up struggles for a long time and dying before being reeled in. The same is true for Kuromaguro caught in game fishing.
When this tuna is cut into pieces, the meat is whitish, as if grilled in a fire, so it is called “Yake (焼け)” or “Yake-maguro (焼け鮪)” as “Yake” means “burnt” in this case. The meat can also be a grayish-brown. In the industry it’s known as “White tuna” due to its color. It loses its characteristic red color, the texture of the meat when eating it is flakey and it doesn’t taste good.
Even if the fish body is cooled with ice water after catching, once the meat has been “burnt”, it won’t turn back to red. This renders even the premium Pacific bluefin tuna and southern bluefin tuna worthless, with zero commercial value as food. However, the fishermen don’t just toss the dead fish back into the sea without a second thought. This is mostly processed into pet food. Also, since it can’t be determined externally whether the meat is “burnt” or not, no one can tell until the fish has been cut open. It runs a big risk to the broker and can be a cause of its fishing port brand losing credibility.
It is currently believed that burnt tuna occurs from high temperature and low pH in the muscles of the fish after death, and that there is a complicated, indirect causal relationship between the conditions such as the environmental temperature, fishing method, handling of the catch, length of processing time, type of fish and size of fish. However, the mechanism that causes this phenomenon is not clearly understood.
While high-quality tuna toro used to be unattainable for normal people, it’s now become a much more affordable item. This is thanks to fish fattening practices of the southern bluefin tuna, which is equivalent in quality to the Pacific bluefin tuna. The fattening method of catching young southern bluefin tuna in roll nets or something similar, and then keeping them in fish preserves until they grow big enough was developed in the 1990s in Australia.
There have been changes in the Pacific bluefin tuna as well. In the late 1990s, the southern bluefin tuna fish fattening method started to be used in the seas throughout the world, and this led to the fattening of the Pacific bluefin tuna, which became all the rage. Most of these are exported to Japan, and account for about half of the consumption of southern bluefin tuna and Pacific bluefin tuna in Japan.
As a bonus, tuna that has been fattened in this way has such a high volume of fat that it is said to be “all toro”, and it’s taken the Japan high-grade toro market by storm. Also, both southern bluefin tuna and Pacific bluefin tuna are served at kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurants.
The fattening of Pacific bluefin tuna started on the east coast of Canada in the mid-seventies. In the summer, large volumes of Pacific bluefin tuna are caught in the fixed shore nets on the Atlantic seaboard, and since they have already spawned, they have slimmed down and aren’t worth much commercially. These fish are fed and fattened, and a new route to Japan has been developed, giving the fish new commercial value.
Both fish fattening and fish farming mean to hold fish in fish preserves, but the purpose differs between the two. The purpose of fish fattening is an adjustment for fishing while the purpose of fish farming is to grow fish to a certain size. Therefore, in fish fattening, they are not fed food to promote growth, but they are in fish farming. However, even in fish fattening, if the period of time they are held for shipping adjustment stretches out too long, they are fed in order to prevent a decrease in meat quality and cannibalism. This can blur the line between fish fattening and fish farming quite a bit.
The Pacific bluefin tuna fish fattening started in Canada is similarly vague. In that case, the purpose was fattening, so it may be fair to call it fish farming. However, shipping adjustment was also one of the major objectives. What about the fish fattening of southern bluefin tuna and Pacific bluefin tuna in Australia and the Mediterranean Sea? These are in place clearly for the purpose of growing small fish, so we can call them fish farming.
The Kindai University Aquaculture Research Institute has succeeded in a complete farming process of taking eggs from spawning Pacific bluefin tuna, incubating them and raising adult fish. Research for a complete farming process began around 1970, so it has taken 30 years for success. These fully farmed tuna are also raised in fish preserves and fed small fish like sardines as well as artificial feed for fattening, resulting in all-toro tuna. However, even though the Kindai University tuna have been featured by the media, you never see them in the supermarket. Why is that? Even though the university has succeeded in a mass-production method, the absolute quantity is extremely low even though raising the fish takes a lot of time and effort, so the price is extremely high.
Whether they are fattened, farmed, or fished in the wild, consumers always welcome delicious, high-quality toro at a reasonable price.
In order to maintain the quality of tuna, when it is caught in the sea, the ikejime technique is used first, then rapid freezing is used as a matter of course. This means that the quality of the thawing technique is also important. Poor thawing conditions mean that the drip outflow volume will be too high, shrinking the meat and worsening the texture. Here I will explain a thawing method that doesn’t cause drip, uneven thawing, or loss of color.
What exactly is drip anyway?
I’m sure you’ve seen it before in any type of thawing frozen meat, but there is a red liquid that comes out of the tuna when thawing. This is called ‘drip’. This liquid includes the tuna’s umami, and when the fish loses a lot, it naturally detracts from the flavor.
First of all, we will explain the worst thawing methods. Never thaw naturally at room temperature or in the microwave. These are common methods at home, but they are out of the question.
Next we will explain the general method of thawing.
Mix 30 g of salt with 1000 cc of warm water at 40℃ to create a saltwater mixture.
Place the frozen block of tuna in this 40℃ saltwater, submerge for one to two minutes and then drain the water.
Wash any remaining salt off the surface of the block of fish with fresh water and remove moisture from the surface with paper towels.
Wrap the fish in clean paper towels, wrap with plastic over that and leave it in the refrigerator for about a day to thaw naturally.
Cut from the block directly before consuming.
Now for the thawing method used by professionals, such as sushi chefs.
The first three steps are the same as the general thawing method above.
Place block in an air-tight plastic bag. Push out as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
Prepare ice water in a bowl or container and submerge the plastic bag in the water for one hour. Normally the bag will float, so it must be weighed down with something.
Remove the thawed tuna from the plastic bag and remove moisture with paper towels.
Wrap the fish in clean paper towels, wrap with plastic over that and leave it in the refrigerator for about a day to mature.
After thawing, the meat of the tuna may have shrunk. This is called ‘chijire’. The reason for this is, after the tuna is caught, it is frozen before rigor mortis begins, so the rigor mortis process starts once the fish is thawed. Therefore, this is proof of freshness. The meat of tuna for which ‘chijire’ has begun is tough and isn’t yet matured. However, amateurs can’t tell if ‘chijire’ is happening or not. That’s why it’s better to let the fish mature in the refrigerator for half a day to one day. Please use these explanations for your own reference.
There is only one trick to distinguishing between conveyor belt sushi restaurants (kaiten-zushi), and that is to try eating the tuna as your first dish.
Why is that, you ask?
The most commonly used ingredient at kaiten-zushi is tuna. At kaiten-zushi, the tuna is imported and frozen nearly 100% of the time. The most famous is the Southern blue-fin tun, but you’ll also find Boston bluefin tuna, Canadian tuna farmed in fish preserves, inland sea tuna from Turkey and Spain, New Zealand offshore tuna, Atlantic tuna, etc. Also, the season of each type of tuna and the timing of high-volume catch differ, which makes the prices fluctuate greatly.
Therefore, the biggest task of a kaiten-zushi chain buyer is to decide where to import tuna from. Looking for high cost-performance, they watch fluctuations in the market every single day without fail, check the flavor in detail and constantly change the locality.
In other words, the chain restaurant purchaser’s efforts are concentrated on tuna. Restaurants that serve tuna that has lost its fat, is watery or rubbery, clearly either have a purchaser with a poor eye, or poor thawing skills. Therefore, if you are disappointed with that first tuna plate, then reign in your expectations for other toppings. On the other hand, if you enjoy the tuna then you’ll have a lot of other toppings to look forward to.
Tuna at top-end restaurants is light in flavor. Its Akami (red meat) has an indescribable acidity with a delicate harmony between the shari vinegar, the nikiri soy sauce, and wasabi. However, on the other side of the coin, it feels almost like a waste to eat it without a sense of luxury. Of course tuna with delicious akami, also has delicious fatty tuna (toro). And you’ll never get tired of it. It would be easy to polish off 10 pieces as a light snack. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the high fat content that makes it so easy to eat. However, it is because of that popular belief that many people feel that the big chain store farmed fish with lots of fat is more delicious than luxury natural fish.
First, what do you imagine when you hear the word “negitoro”?
Most people probably think of “Negitoro Gunkan” or “Negitoro Roll” served at sushi restaurants.
But the real “negitoro” does not have leeks!
The original name for negitoro was negitoru. It translates to chip away in Japanese. The name eventually evolved to negitoro.
Here we come to the point.
The original negitoro is made from medium fatty tuna or nakaochi* chopped up finely with a knife and then mixed with chopped green onions on top. But the tuna may be switched out with filler, leading to a variety in quality of the negitoro available.
First of all, the lowest in the ranking are the offcuts of tuna that can’t be made into sashimi (mainly Yellowfin or Albacore tuna) and this is mixed with vegetable oil and minced. The type of onion used is normally green onions. You can pick this type out because it will be whitish in color. This version is normally served at conveyor belt sushi.
The medium quality uses the nakaochi of cheap Albacore tuna or Swordfish.
High quality negitoro uses the nakaochi of Pacific bluefin tuna or Southern bluefin tuna. Sometimes thegreen onion shoots are then rolled up inside. If you have a chance to try negitoro in Japan, we recommend you try the top quality options without a doubt. One piece will probably cost around $15 USD. But that’s the price for the real thing!
Finally, let me introduce some negitoro trivia. There is a lot of flesh on the middle bone (spine) and the surrounding area for tuna and the like. This is called “nakaochi*”. Scraping the meat from this area surrounding the spine is known as “negitoru”, which is where the word “negitoro” comes from. In other words, the name “negitoro” is not actually from the words onion (negi) and tuna belly (toro).
What is negitoro like at Sushi restaurants?
Originally, the meat from the middle cut or in between the bones of the tuna was used for negitoro. In order to get meat from these parts, the chef would have to purchase an entire tuna, or buy the cut that includes the mid-ribs. However, both of these purchases are difficult for a single sushi restaurant, so now the chef chops the meat from the body with a butcher knife until it forms a paste that is sticky and smooth from the fat in the tuna. This paste is used for negitoro.
Tuna caught in the coastal regions of the Japan Sea is notable as the best bluefin tuna in January. Iki, a small island in Kyushu area is one of the famous ports for tuna.
In February and March, the tuna auction market becomes slack due to rough weather. Just a few tunas from Nachikatsuura where is also the famous port for tuna are on the market.
In March and April, tunas become thin because their eggs need many nutrients.
In May, large tuna is seldom seen in the Tsukiji Fish Market. Even if there is, its body is really thin. “Kinkaimono” which means a shore-fish is generally considered as high-class tuna, but in this season, imported tuna is useful instead.
It is said that Pacific Bluefin tunas spawn around Japanese waters between Taiwan and Okinawa in April and May. And then, they go up to fertile, north sea along the eastern coast of Japan.
In June, “Chubo” which is young and small tuna is taken hugely off the coast of the Sea of Japan. The school of Chubo begin moving northward in this season.
In July and August, tunas can be seen occasionally but their bodies are still thin. Instead, Boston Tuna which is caught in the Atlantic Ocean and nicknamed “Jumbo” is on the market. Its fresh is softer than “Kinkaimono” and it doesn’t have medium-fatty part which “Kinkaimono” has.
In September, Boston Tunas are at their best with plenty of fat on them. The best season of Boston Tuna is limited and ends in October. But fortunately, Japanese tunas come into season.
The school of tunas split up into two groups, the one takes Pacific Ocean route and another takes the Japan Sea route and both of them move northward along the Japanese Islands. Some of them reach the Tsugaru Strait where and the season of Tuna begins from September to next January. Oma town and Toi town is famous nationwide for its catch of tuna from the Tsugaru Strait. The flavor of tuna in September is still weak but it becomes stronger in October. In November, feed of tunas such as Pacific saury or Japanese common squid with plenty of fat increase and flavor of tuna also gets stronger. In December, the peak season comes around.
A catch of tuna falls off in January and it enters the final season. The temperature of sea water gets cold and feed of tuna, squids decrease and the fishing season in this area ends.
Once a bluefin tuna is caught, it arrives in Tsukiji fish market within a day or two. However, that fish is not used as a sushi topping that day. No mater how good the tuna is, it starts out very stiff and is not in a state where it should be eaten. The meat is hard and the white muscle lines are left in your mouth. The odor and acidic taste of the red meat is strong and the unique sweetness of the fish is nowhere to be found. After it has rested the muscles soften, bringing out the fat.
Then, when the sushi chef gets the tuna, he first separates the red, lean meat and the fatty toro portion, rewraps them separately and, seals them in plastic and puts them on ice. Next is waiting for the “young” meat, not yet suitable for eating, to mature. The number of days the fish will be rested depends on the size of the fish and the temperature. The smaller the cut and the warmer the temperature, the shorter the rest time. Generally the time is from 3-14 days.
This “young” fish not ready for consumption is a fresh, deep color but as it matures the color darkens, the fat is brought out and becomes a fleshy color. Proper care must be taken because if it’s rested for too long, the color changes too quickly.
The bluefin tuna goes by different names in Japanese depending on its age. It starts out as “Meji (メジ or メジマグロ),” grows into “Chubou (中坊)” and finally is called Maguro (once it’s 50 kg or more).
Meji is less than 1 year old and weighs around 20 kg.
Chubou is an old word for relatively low-class Buddhist priests who were treated as errand boys. I guess it was meant to imply that these boys were even weaker than tuna. At this stage, the fish are between 2-5 years old and weigh about 40kg.
Anything larger than that is called Maguro. The biggest is 3m long and 600kg or more. Especially large tuna is called Shibi. “Shibi” comes from the Japanese characters for “4-days”, which is how long the fish takes to mature.
Most Meji and Chubou are caught from May until the beginning of autumn when Maguro is thin and tasty.
Meji has a unique scent and taste that sets it apart from full-grown tuna. The color is similar to the skipjack rather than bluefin. On the other hand, Chubou has a lighter color and it isn’t as rich, but the flavor is young, refreshing tuna. That is why Meji is considered to be a completely separate sushi topping and Chubou is presented to be a type of tuna.
Large fish that are caught are always kept and transported on their side with their heads facing left from the port to the market and to the restaurant where they are served. The part of the fish facing down when in this position is called “Shitami” or the “bottom body” and the part facing up is called “Uwami” or the top body. The Uwami costs more than Shitami. This is because the Shitami takes on the weight of the Uwami, reducing the freshness and possibly causing cracks in the body (cracking occurs on the edges of the muscles).
This mostly applies to Pacific bluefin tuna (tuna that is consumed without any freezing after being caught). At any rate, since this fish costs hundreds of dollars per kilogram, a full-grown fish may be worth more than a luxury sports car. Therefore, from the time they make their catch, the fishermen work quickly, which affects all aspects of the quality. Most of all, this work affects the price. A Pacific bluefin is never placed directly on the deck of the ship. If a fish weighing 100 kg or more is set directly on the hard deck, its own weight would cause injury to its surface. Naturally, any damage or injury to the fish reduces the price. Instead, each fish is laid on a soft, spongy mat to protect its skin surface. Next, the blood is drained, the spinal cord nerves are destroyed and the fish is submerged in ice water. It might be easier to understand if you imagine handling a luxury vehicle, like a Ferrari, rather than a tuna fish.
Incidentally, the idea behind keeping the “Left side up (or prioritized), right side down,” is a fixed Japanese etiquette, passed down through China from the Asuka period. Perhaps the reason fish are also served for eating and photographed with the head on the left side is due to this influence as well. However, this is only a fixed practice within Japan.
At sushi restaurants, one of the many things the chef teaches their apprentice is to, “Start using purchase fish from ‘Shitami’.” Once a sushi topping is prepared, it may be served for several. It’s hard to imagine that the Shitami would start to go bad during these several days, but it is attention to these small details that make a master sushi chef.
There is a part on the tuna belly called “Sunazuri (gizzards)” or “Zuri” . Normally “Jabara,” with the diagonal white lines is the king of tuna, but the fatty tuna is spoiled if the white lines are left in your mouth. Also, on the dorsal side there is a part that produces chutoro called wakaremi. This part is also complex with hard, white lines throughout that we want to avoid eating. Instead, the knife cuts along those lines, gently removing the fish meat from them, making “Hagashi.” If the chef is not skilled, this cut will take time and extra meat is left behind. This is delicate work, making for a delicious and satisfying experience.