While most of us are content to enjoy sushi and sashimi at a restaurant, there are those intrepid individuals looking to prepare sashimi themselves. Here we explore the art of preparing sashimi in a way that keeps the flavors rich, the fish beautiful, and the pieces pristine by examining one of the most popular sashimi: tuna.
Three Main Types of Tuna Sashimi
The three most common cuts of tuna are akami, chutoro and otoro. Akami is known for its rich, vibrant color and meaty texture. It has much less fat compared to chutoro or otoro, and is the most readily available.
On the far other side of the spectrum, otoro has a very high fat content and is from the belly of the tuna, and makes for a truly luxurious bite.
In between akami and otoro is chutoro which has the fatty qualities of otoro and the meatier texture of akami, making for a more balanced bite.
How to Cut Tuna Sashimi
For cutting sashimi, the longer your knife, the better. You want to avoid pushing and pulling (sawing) your knife, and instead have a single, long pulling motion for your cut. You can use a smaller knife, but if you do, make sure you start the cut at the back of the blade to get the largest coverage.
Akami and chutoro have similar methods for cutting. In each case, you can cut vertically down the tuna, making sure to cut through the white sinew. Otoro, on the other hand, is more delicate because of the high fat content, and the sinew is stronger. Here, you’ll want to cut on the bias, diagonally through the otoro with a slightly thinner slice. The thinner slice will help reduce the influence of the sinew, and because it is a richer cut, won’t overpower your pallet.
Learn more about the Five Types of Tuna in Japan
About the author:
Michael is originally from Chicago, IL in the United States, but has lived in Japan for seven years in Niigata and Hokkaido. He is an avid home chef, baker, and coffee enthusiast, but his one true love is ramen. Ever in pursuit of the perfect bowl of noodles, you can always find him by listening for the tell-tale slurp of ramen being enjoyed!