It's All About Sushi Tuna
Posted: Oct 28 2013
For sushi lovers, tuna is one of the most popular fish found on menus around the world. Tasty and diverse, tuna sushi comes in many different types. The most important part of any tuna sushi recipe is the quality of the main ingredient.
An important question for all sushi lovers: are you being served true sushi grade tuna?
Types of Sushi Tuna
Let's step back for a moment and look at the different types of sushi tuna. Big-eye and yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi tuna) are the most common types of sushi tuna. You'll also find bluefin tuna in tuna sushi recipes. Bluefin tuna breaks down into three sub-categories based on the actual cut:
- Akami - from the top/back of the fish
- Chu-toro - from the belly of the fish
- O-toro - from the upper part of the fish belly, near the head
Image courtesy of Metropolitan Sushi.
Albacore tuna (aka white tuna) is also popular, though most Americans associate it with canned tuna.
What is Sushi Grade Tuna?
Now that we know a bit about the actual types of sushi tuna, let's take a closer look at what qualifies a cut of fish as sushi grade tuna.
The short answer is that calling fish “sushi grade tuna” is somewhat subjective. The FDA does not have any guidelines that establish a standard for sushi grade tuna. From a health and safety perspective, the primary concern is bacteria growth due to sushi's raw nature. Thus, the storage protocol for sushi grade tuna includes the following options:
- -4°F for seven days
- -31°F for 15 hours
- -31°F until solid and stored at -4°F
These storage options ensure the destruction of parasites so you can enjoy sushi tuna, without worrying about bacteria issues. Outside of those guidelines, the FDA has no true definition for sushi grade tuna. Because of that, so-called sushi grade tuna is really just a marketing term.
For those who are concerned with the quality of their sushi tuna, it might be easier to look for certified organic standards, either when you dine at a sushi restaurant or when you try to perfect your own tuna sushi recipe at home
Fish for Sushi’s Quality Guarantee