Red flesh

A photo of Kihada maguro nigiri
Yellowfin tuna (Kihada maguro)

Yellowfin tuna (Kihada maguro)

【Nigiri sushi: Akami】
What is Kihada maguro?
Kihada maguro is found over a wide area in the tropics and temperate regions. The ideal water temperature for Kihada meguro is 20 to 28°C, which is higher than Mebachi maguro, so most fishing spots are concentrated in the seas around 25 degrees latitude where they swim at the sea’s surface level. As the name “kihada” means “yellow skin”, the fish is characterized by its yellow color. The yellow dorsal fin and tailfin grow long when the fish is an adult. This is the most commonly fished tuna and there are ample resources. Kihada maguro accounts for over 30% of the tuna consumed in Japan and it is used for sushi toppings, sashimi and processed goods.

It is a slightly paler red color than kuromaguro. It features a signature red color that ranges from pale pink to deep cherry. This meat is commonly used for tuna sashimi and nigiri sushi, poke, and cooking applications that call for leaving the fish slightly raw in the middle. Although it will naturally turn brown once exposed to air if not properly stored. It also has a lighter texture than kuromaguro and there are many people who appreciate that. It is especially popular as both sashimi and sushi topping in Kansai, where the local preference is lighter taste.

Kihada has the best color retention of any tuna. As a taste component, it has the highest histidine content of all tuna with 2100 mg per 100 g. It also has high contents of anserine and carnosine. 

【Related contents】
Types of tuna

You know toro tuna and akami, but have you heard of the more rare parts of the tuna?

Do you know what kind of Tuna you’re eating at a sushi restaurant?

List of Red flesh fish (Akami)

(Revision date: December 29, 2023)

Main production area

Shizuoka Miyagi Kochi Miyazaki