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Yellow fin tuna - sushi grade?

RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
edited 4:02AM in EggHead Forum
Do you know a lot about fish? Can you help me?

Years ago, I was introduced to Ahi Tuna in Whistler BC.
Since then, the only time I've ever had it was at a restaurant.

All of the receipes I've seen for Ahi Tuna refer to sushi grade tuna. I've gone to local fish markets including asian fish markets and asked for "sushi grade" tuna.

The fish mongers always point to the yellow fin tuna and say "this is the finest tuna we carry". No one ever says "it's sushi grade".

Should I assume that "all - high quality of course" yellow fin tuna is considered "sushi grade" and proceed with the receipe?


Do I continue to look for the elusive "sushi grade"?

Am I just being paranoid?



  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,239
    I like to use the yellow tail tuna when freshly caught here in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.

    This site might help.
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    No wonder I can never get a straight answer. (interesting article/insight)

    I guess the fish markets are doing a little CYA.

    I live in Toronto - the great white north - we have a lot of fresh water lakes - but no oceans close by - so I won't be catching any fresh tuna anytime soon.

    I guess the next time I buy, I need to find out whether the fish has been previously frozen.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,239
    I would look arounding Toronto and find a sushi food bar and get to know the owner and see if he will give up his source. Todays modern freezing and transportation, the frozen is not that bad.
  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    As of right now there are no clear standards by the FDA as to what "sushi" or "sashimi" grade fish is. Just wondering what you're making with it. Are you eating raw or cooked? I do know that any sushi grade fish is frozen first to kill any parasites. It's usually flash frozen for 15 hours at -31 degrees. I would never think of eating raw fish that has not been perviously frozen.
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    I'd like to make some Ahi Tuna for dinner tonight.

    A quick sear on both sides with the centre not cooked. In the beef world, I'd call the centre blue, but I don't know if that's appropriate terminology for fish as I don't know much about cooking fish.

    I bought some yellow fin tuna yesterday, but I'm not sure if it's ever been frozen. In Toronto, I know that some markets regularly fly product in. So, it could be fresh but then again, it could have been frozen before.

    I too am a little paranoid about cooking fish so I don't really want to gamble.

    Maybe Ahi Tuna for tonight isn't a great idea. I'm sure there are all kinds of other recipes that require the fish to be fully cooked.

  • NooBBQNooBBQ Posts: 134
    Cooking Ahi fully isn't that great [warning:OPINION]. It is like starting with Kobe beef and then making a crockpot stew.

    A Quick sear on both sides is already hard to do, to make it "blue" enough.

    Some restaurants even use a small torch to sear, as not to cook the meat too much.

  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    sear watching the grey from on the outside.. temps in slide show were measured with thermopen shoud give you a place to start



  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,730
    if your in toronto i bet it was previously frozen anyways. just get some that smells fresh and enjoy it either raw or cooked the way you like it. i never read anything about raw tuna being so dangerous it has to be cooked all the way thru, i bet the danger is so small its insignificant
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    That's exactly what I want to do...

    When you bought the tuna, 1) did you specifically buy "sushi grade", was it "fresh", do you know if it was "previously frozen", or did you buy fresh, freeze it and then thaw it?


    PS - very cool slide show. I'll have to try that some time.
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    wegmans fresh tuna 1.5 inch was sushi grade and 1 inch was just tuna. wegmans specifies fresh of previously frozen on the display case label
    i bought it fresh and ate it no freeze my suspicion , from watching videos of the tokyo fish market,is:

    these fish are caught by commercial boats gutted and put in the deep freeze till the hold is full and they return to dock they are kept frozen til auctioned off cut packaged shipped and sold. i think the frozen ones are there fore frozen twice and the fresh only once,, but i am often worng.. maybe alaskan c will weigh in on this subject.

    .. my sushi chef has one of my knives when i go to pick it up i will ask him about the fish he serves and post his reply it may be a day or three as i am under the weather.
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    Thanks Bill.

    I'm curious how he will respond.

    I've never thought of the freezing issue before but it seems quite plausible.

    I've always thought that food shouldn't be refrozen, but I guess their freezing techniques are much better than the average consumer.

  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    I'm not completely certain, but I think their is a degree of s difference between sushi grade and sashimi grade fish.

    I think the best thing would be to use your relationship with a sushi chef to have him get you some from the restaurant (wholesale price). Then you could be confident it was safe to eat without being fully cooked.

    I have been fortunate to have an acquaintance whose husband goes blue water fishing often off the Louisiana coast and she will occasionally bring us fresh tuna. Seared on the BGE with raw center, served up with a Raspberry chipotle sauce - awesome ! :woohoo:
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    that is the best my neighbor goes off the jersey coast and comes home with whole tuna in ice,,, i slice the belly meat off throw it on the mini for a second or two and dip in a little ponzu...
  • WhackJobWhackJob Posts: 46
    These are all very valid points and concerns, however I think there is a little analysis paralysis going on.

    Buy high quality tuna (yellow or blue fin) from a fish monger that has brisk sales. Make sure that the shop does not have a fish odor when you walk in. Always a good thing if you see Japanese people in there buying fish.

    Biggest thing with searing or eating under cooked fish is "when in doubt don't eat it".
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    Thanks for all your comments.

    I drove by the market and to my surprize it was opened!!

    I talked to the fish monger about the tuna I bought and he confirmed that it is sushi grade. In fact, he showed me another 5 fish products he had today that were sushi grade as well.

    Good to know...

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