Tuna is the signature fish for Edo•Mae (Tokyo) Style Sushi Restaurant, defining their quality, style, and artistry. One of the most crucial duties at the fish market, in the opinion of sushi chefs, is selecting their tuna. It is the centerpiece of the “omakase,” or main course in French and Italian course meals.
A sushi restaurant lacking maguro/tuna isn’t considered to be a sushi restaurant by sushi chefs. (This is my article about the incident.)
1. Purchase tuna first
Japanese typically refer to maguro, or tuna with red flesh, when they say “tuna for sushi.” Maguro mostly come in three varieties: Yellowfin, Bigeye, and Bluefin. Albacore tuna, often known as white tuna in the US (and some parts of Japan), is used for sushi.
All three types of “Red” meat—A, B, and C—are of varying quality, with B being the best. C is closest to the tail, which is the cause. Because the tail receives the most exercise and hence has the least amount of fat, it is the leanest meat.
D is “O-Toro” or The Fattiest Tuna Belly (the Japanese word “O” signifies enormous, alluding to the amount of fat). Due to the presence of fat, the meat’s pale pink color can be attributed to this. F is red meat, whereas E is “Chu-Toro,” or medium fatty tuna belly.
In terms of cost, D is the most expensive, E is the second, while B, A, followed by C and F are all equal.
Because Big Eye is smaller than Blue Fin, there is less of a likelihood that E will be O-Toro and more of a possibility that it will be Chu-Toro. When toro is present, it tends to be “tiny” toro and is only occasionally found in yellowfin.
It’s improbable that you will find a whole tuna at a retail store in Japan or the US (or anyplace else in the globe), simply because it would be too much fish to consume for one household, even though I mentioned before that the first step is to go “purchase” the melody. In reality, a whole tuna is usually too much for most restaurants (in the US) to handle, so they typically order 1/4 of it already filleted. (I used to work for a restaurant in LA where a whole tuna would occasionally be ordered.) The quantity of tuna that a restaurant purchases is influenced by the size, size, and caliber of the restaurant. The best section of the Blue fin, the belly with toro, is typically obtained by Japanese sushi restaurants.
Cut the tuna for nigiri against the grain, often at a 30-degree angle and about 1/4″ thick. The hardest part of cutting is deciding how thick or thin to cut, as this has a significant impact on how your nigiri will taste. Tuna tastes best when it is chopped thickly in general. It will no longer taste like tuna when thin. To test this, eat tuna with two different cuts—one that is paper-thin and the other that is thick—and compare the flavors. When slicing tuna, pull your knife backward rather than pushing it forward like you would when slicing meats and vegetables.
4. Nigiri sushi
When the tuna has been chopped, you are prepared to make nigiri. I’ll assume you’ve already prepared the sushi rice.