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If you like Sushi, and wonder how is made the best sushi in the world. Then, this is the right place for you. Also, if you have tried Sushi before and you have enjoyed the fatty Ootoro and wondered why it was a little bit more expensive than anything else, then you should read this page and follow its links.

Maguro, Toro, Chu-toro and Ootoro are all referring to different parts of tuna fish. This is the lean meat near the spine of the tuna fish. Its various shades of red, with the lighter, shinier varieties being the best. For dieters however, the redder, the better. It's a part of every Sushi meal and good for people trying raw fish for the first time; it's easy on the palate. Maguro is the Japanese name for tuna, and as you can see later, there are different types ranging from the relatively cheap 'sea chicken' canned, to the expensive ones served raw in sushi restaurants. Moreover, there are many kinds of tuna in the world, and they all have different tastes. Some of them are just good for canned food, but, some of them, as sushi lovers believe, are so good that they should never be cooked!!

In Japan, where its belly meat is the most highly prized sushi ingredient, whole fish often sell for tens of thousands of dollars a piece. Because of the extremely high prices they command, bluefins are being fished all over the globe to be sent to Tsukiji Market, the ultimate destination for all the best catches.

Bluefin Tuna


A photo from Tsukiji Market in the early morning

The most expensive and arguably the most delicious species is the bluefin tuna, or Hon-maguro as Japanese call it.  This is the name of the biggest tuna and one of the largest bony fishes. Bluefins occur in a startling range of sizes, from young ones ("jumpers") of 5 to 30 kg, to 12-year-olds ("giants") weighing over 600 kg. Bluefin 'schools' usually consist of fish that are close together in age and size. They can be found all over the world in temperate and subtropical waters, and are considered by some scientists to occur in two subspecies. They are highly migratory: large adults can cross the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean to Norway in a single season. In the year 2000, a tuna caught by a traditional fashion in the north of Japan has made the news. This single tuna fish weighted around 200 kilograms, and was sold at the price of 20 million yens, equal to 200,000 US dollars!!

The cut of Tuna

verticalcut.gif (44443 バイト) The prices of different parts of the Maguro are sold separately in the market. In general, the fatter the more expensive. The part with the biggest amounts of fat is called Ootoro, and is generally the most expensive in sushi restaurants.

For few pictures that show the process of cutting big Tuna fish, please click here.

For more photos of Japanese food, please click here