Archive for ‘ahi tuna’

June 3rd, 2011

Ahi tuna

Ahi tuna (aka. yellowfin tuna) is a household name in America these days.  You can get it at Costco as well as find it at your local grocery store.  It’s a safer and cheaper alternative to bluefin.  I think one of the reason Ahi is preferred in the States is its leaner taste.  Bluefin is rather rich and its texture is fattier.  It’s kind of like comparing beer-fed fatty Japanese (such as Kobe) beef to lean American steak.  Both are great cuts of meat–it just comes down to your preference.

I think Japanese sushi chefs are trained and proud to present traditional, “proper” sushi & sashimi, so they tend to avoid creating a fusion, although that tendency is changing with likes of Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu) or Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto).  Still, they leave fusion to western chefs.   I had this Ahi Tuna Stack at Bleecker Street restaurant in Los Angeles.  Since Alfred Portale perfected beautiful plating, every restaurant tries hard to copy it; this being an example.  I wasn’t going to order the imitation, but as soon as I heard the waitress say those magic words,  “On  a bed of rice,” I changed my mind.  It’s fun to have raw fish with chips and such sometime, but I prefer my raw fish with rice.  From the top, there are radish sprouts, mango & papaya salsa, ahi and jasmine rice, and sweet soy sauce (which didn’t taste like soy sauce at all).

It’s interesting to see that leaner meat such as ahi, is popular here in the states, considering how much Japanese tourists mention that “American food is too big and fattening,” which is surprising, considering that Japanese meats sometimes fit this description. For example, I had a dinner at Korean BBQ restaurant in Tokyo with my parents and my husband, who found some of Japanese meats so fatty, he only ate a few small pieces, then needed a rest, whereas my mother, who is super skinny and in her late 60s, kept eating.