School of albacore tuna
The Most Popular Types Of Tuna Used In Japanese Cuisine
Japanese cuisine's hallmark is fresh, high-quality ingredients. The cherished tuna fish is pivotal in this tradition, especially in the realm of Japan’s famous sushi and sashimi.
Tuna species have different flavors, and the cut also has an impact on taste. Bluefin, Yellowfin, Bigeye, and Skipjack tuna are the types most commonly used in Japanese recipes.
Bluefin tuna is the largest species, and can weigh over 800 pounds. It’s known for its intensely flavored, rich, marbled flesh, which varies in color from deep red to pale pink.
The most coveted cuts of this prized fish, served in upscale sushi and sashimi restaurants, are "otoro" which is the fatty belly, and "chu-toro" which is the medium fatty belly.
Smaller than Bluefin, Yellowfin tuna yields firm, mild-tasting meat, which is ideally suited to sashimi and sushi. In Hawaii, it's called "ahi" and is often included in poke bowls.
Falling between Bluefin and Yellowfin in terms of size and fat content, Bigeye tuna is known for its succulent, tender meat. It's also a popular choice for sushi and sashimi.
Albacore tuna is a smaller fish with mild pale pink to white meat. Being a lower priced fish, it’s served in sushi chain restaurants, in tuna salad, and as a canned product.
The smallest of the commonly used species, Skipjack tuna is moderately fatty with a robust flavor. It's a sushi favorite and an essential ingredient in dashi, a Japanese stock.
Tuna was once regarded as an inferior fish, but through the influence of Japan’s rich culinary traditions, it's now considered a delicacy which captivates food lovers worldwide.