Fresh Fish Guide
Use Only Fresh Fish For Sushi!
Blue Fin (Maguro), Yellow Tail (Hamachi), Ahi Tuna, Snapper, etc. needs to be absolutely freshest. How can you tell if its fresh? For this guide we'll use blue fin tuna as an example.
The most popular fish for sushi is blue fin tuna. (for Blue Fin substitute use Yellow Tail or Ahi tuna).
You can obtain maguro from a Japanese store, fish market, or order it on line. Keep in mind that it has to be very fresh or "sushi grade".
Sushi Grade typically means caught within the past 24 hours and then properly cleaned and chilled right after its taken out of the water.
At the fish market make sure you ask the fish butcher for "sushi grade" fish. At the Japanese store you will find them pre-cut into sushi slices or in blocks.
Fresh Fish Check:
-odor is not too strong but light characteristic of seawater or seaweed. Not "fishy"
-firm when pressed and returns when pressed gently with fingers (like it would when you do this to your arm or hand).
-no signs of crusty or dry corners
-no discoloration such as browning or dark yellowing in the corners.
-Should taste slightly sweet and taste good with sweet and sour of sushi rice.
Do not use the fish in the butcher block at the local supermarket or big block store to eat uncooked.
Buy the fish intended to eat uncooked the day you plan on consuming it. Do not take fresh fish home, store it in the fridge over night and use it for sushi the next day or two unless you plan to cook it.
Sushi does not keep well. Plan on consuming it right away.
Type of Tuna Cuts
Also, at the store, there are different cuts to specify: Ohtoro, chutoro, and akami.
Ohtoro, in Japan, is rare expensive and is most sought after. It has the most fat and therefore very soft so that it melts in your mouth. Look for light pink filet (If you see this served to you in a restaurant eat it slowly to savor it and thank the chef).
Chutoro is mid fat and may see it sometimes as pink to pink red filet.
Akami means red flesh or meat. Is very lean and probably why its most popular in the United States because lean is in. This is the most common red to dark red in color. Still very good and tasty.
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