Monday, September 14, 2009

Fatty Tuna Sashimi

I previously blogged on the Tsukiji Fish Market where we saw the large blue fin tuna auctioned off and prepared and then ultimately had some tuna sashimi in a nearby sushi bar. Fatty tuna, highly prized and available in Japan, is not as well known or sought in the U.S., at least in my experience. While visiting Andrew at UCLA, we visited a Japanese market and I found some fatty tuna for sale. It was horribly expensive, $69.99 per pound, but they had a small piece, less than a third of a pound for sale, so I bought it to give it a try.

Note the difference between this and normal tuna, which is a deep red. The fat permeates this belly meat and you can see how greasy it is just by looking at it.

I cut it into small chunks

added some wasabi and soy sauce and chowed down.

I was disappointed. Perhaps it was the atmosphere, or because it was not as fresh as the sashimi at a sushi bar, but the taste was not all that fantastic. It did not come close to approximating the fatty tuna I have eaten in Japan. No more expensive sashimi cuts for me out of a supermarket.

Talking with my partner, Michael Lewin, who goes out deep sea fishing on boats out of San Diego, he throws away the belly meat of the tuna because it is too fatty for him. When I see the price it is going for in the store, I think I may beg him to keep the belly meat on his next trip and see how it compares to what I got in the store.

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