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Six Top Fish for Sushi

4 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Making Sushi at Home

Six fabulous fish always star at a sushi bar: bluefin tuna, big-eye tuna, yellowfin tuna, red snapper, Japanese yellowtail, and salmon. These are the six most popular fish for sushi. Sushi with raw fish requires the absolutely best fish you can get. Any of the fish on this list, if you get it fresh, can make mouthwatering sushi.

  • Bluefin tuna: This tuna is huge, up to 10 feet long and up to 1,500 pounds. The following are the cuts of bluefin tuna:

    • Akami: This pure red meat, with a taste and texture almost like very rare filet mignon, is found near the top or back of the fish.

    • Chu-toro: This cut is choice, marbled, milky-pink meat because of its desirably high fat content. It has a very rich taste and buttery texture and comes from the belly of the fish.

    • O-toro: Most choice of all tuna meat, this is the fattiest part of the belly, up near the head. It’s a very pale pink, and it melts on the tongue.

  • Big-eye tuna: A chunkier tuna, up to 6 1/2 feet long and 400 pounds, is named for its unusually large eyes. It’s considered a milder-tasting tuna than bluefin tuna.

  • Yellowfin tuna: This smaller tuna, up to 6 feet long and 300 pounds, is found in tropical waters. Possesses a mild flavor and firm texture. It’s deep pink to reddish in color. This fish is called ahi in Hawaii.

  • Red snapper (Tai): This white-fleshed fish has a very mild, delicate taste, yet still has some bite, or texture, to it.

  • Japanese yellowtail (Hamachi): A young fish, very luscious and buttery in texture, almost oily, possessing a desirable bold flavor, some say with a tangy finish.

  • Salmon: With its gorgeous peachy orange to deep-red flesh, it’s prized for its rich and flavorful taste. Salmon should have been flash-frozen if you’re going to eat it raw.

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