Bluefin Tuna

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Food For Thought -

The phrase bluefin tuna brings up the image of a per­fectly mar­bled and del­i­cate slice of sashimi served on a wooden tray as you en­joy a mul­ti­ple course omakase din­ner. That or an image of Tokyo’s bustling Tsuk­iji fish mar­ket on New Year ’s Day in 2013, where a 220 kilo­gram bluefin tuna was sold to Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the Sushi-Zan­mai chain, for a record­break­ing USD1.76 mil­lion, which to this day is the most ex­pen­sive fish ever sold. WHAT? The three types of bluefin tuna; At­lantic, Pa­cific and South­ern, make up some of the largest tuna species on the planet, and are es­pe­cially val­ued in Ja­pan, where 70-80% of the an­nual yield of At­lantic and Pa­cific bluefin are con­sumed each year. The Ja­panese mainly use bluefin tuna in raw dishes such as sushi and sashimi, and the most prized part is the toro of the bluefin, or the fatty flesh that can be found along the side and belly of the fish. WHY? The bluefin toro is prized for its melt in your mouth tex­ture and bal­ance of meaty and fatty flavour. The sheer size of the tuna, which can grow up to 3 me­tres in length and weigh nearly half a tonne, and its crit­i­cally en­dan­gered sta­tus are gen­er­ally re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing up the price, as de­mand in Ja­pan and other parts of the world con­tinue to grow de­spite dwin­dling sup­plies.

Prices for bluefin tuna tend to sky­rocket in the be­gin­ning of the year at Tsuk­iji Mar­ket, as in the case of the 1.76 mil­lion dol­lar bluefin, as buy­ing the first tuna of the year is a sym­bolic ges­ture of good-for­tune, which nor­mally leads to bid­ding wars among the wealth­i­est ty­coons in Ja­pan. WHERE? Bluefin tuna can be found in the At­lantic and Pa­cific Ocean, but most of the global sup­ply are ex­ported and sold in Ja­pan. Due to its pop­u­lar­ity, it can be found served in most Ja­panese fine-din­ing restau­rants. HOW MUCH? The most ex­pen­sive tuna in the world cost Kiyoshi Kimura al­most USD8,000 per kilo­gram, but nor­mal mar­ket val­ues are much lower. Here in Kuala Lumpur, a serv­ing of bluefin toro sashimi re­tails for be­tween RM40-RM50 at Nobu, and can also be en­joyed as part of their omakase menu.

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