Ahi tuna from Catalina カタリナオフショアからのアヒマグロ刺身

japanese cake
We tried “Fresh Wild sushi-grade Ahi tuna” from Catalina. According to them “Ahi” tuna could be Bigeye (Mebachi メバチマグロ) or Yellowfin (Kihada キハダマグロ).  Quoting from the Website “Ahi sushi is one of the most popular items among sushi fans. In the Hawaiian language, “Ahi” (ah-hee) refers to two species of tuna: bigeye and yellowfin.” The one we got appears to have been “Bigeye” which is good since we like bigeye much better than yellowfin as sashimi. We also got fresh salmon and one tray of Pacific Northwest “Uni” or sea urchin roe. Obtaining decent uni from Catalina (or anywhere else) is more and more difficult and this was the first time we tried Pacific Northwest uni.

The tuna was about one pound. I first removed the skin. The white line separating the meat (sinew or fascia) is visible in the picture.

I made the piece into “Saku” blocks. You can see the sinew separating the meat especially on the right two larger blocks.

The first dish I made was  “tuna and avocado cubes” dressed in a mixture of dark sesame oil, soy sauce, sake and garlic ( I posted this before).

Since I did not have chives, I used chopped scallion instead for garnish.

Since the tuna was cut into small cubes, this tasted good without much problems with the sinew.  But when I served it with the salmon and uni as sashimi, the sinew became very unpleasant. Usually, more noticeable sinew or “Suji  すじ is present in Ootro or a very fatty potion tuna but this red meat or “akami ” 赤身 had lots of “suji”.

The salmon* was very nice and was the best among the three sashimi items we bought. The uni was certainly acceptable but the consistency is a bit too soft or liquid. It also had a gamey taste akin to but even greater than Maine uni. It is far cry from the nice firm but creamy California Gold uni we used to get.

* Digression alert: Salmon sashimi or sushi did not exist while I was in Japan. The reason Japanese did not eat raw salmon was because of the parasite called Anisakis which produced acute GI problems if ingested. It is killed after the salmon has been frozen (-4F for at least 24 hours) but marinating with vinegar does not get rid of it. About 1995, Norwegian purveyors convinced Japanese customers that their salmon was safe to eat raw since anisakis are not present in their farm raised salmon. Pacific Northwestern salmon has anisakis (I am not going into the life cycles of anisakis but where seals and other sea mammals are present, anisakis infestation is a problem.) The one we got was from New Zealand. As per Catalina website “Mt. Cook Alpine salmon is pure king salmon. It is naturally free of parasites, GMO, antibiotics, chemicals, mercury and other heavy metals due to being sustainably farmed in the pure glacial waters of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. ” The salmon as sashimi is not our usual choice but, among the three we got, I prefer the salmon (meaning the tuna and uni weren’t that good).

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