This was a continuing feast with “Juyondai” sake 十四代. We ususally order sashimi fish from Catalina Offshore Products but this time, I ordered from “Fish-for-Sushi”; frozen “Ootoro” 大トロ (new item) along with “akami” 赤身 of Big eye tuna, 目鉢鮪 and Kanpachi カンパチ or amberjack.
As you can see, this otoro had a large potion of pure fat attached which was a bit chewy; this was not the best otoro.
The picture below shows how the frozen sashimi was packaged. The upper right is akami tuna, below that is kanpachi, and upper left encased in a separate container is otoro.
The next picture was taken after the fish were thawed (following the instructions in the packages). To my surprise, the otoro block still had skin attached as well as a large amount of “pure” fat (see below).
The package said this was aqua cultured and from Japan. The portion is very small to begin with. Once you removed the skin and fat it was even smaller. Paying the otoro price per pound, the inclusion of the unusable skin and less than desirable fat made the useable meat from this piece very expensive (much more expensive than having toro at Tako Grill per unit weight). When my wife saw what had to be discarded she said her grandmother had an expression for this type of situation; “butcher putting a finger on the scale.” We could at least eat the fatty part (I haven’t come up with a recipe for tuna skin yet, however). I suspected the fat would be chewy, so I sliced it into rather thin pieces of otoro with the fat attached and served.
Next day, I removed the pure fat portions, cut it into small cubes and dressed the “karshi sumiso” sauce からし酢味噌 with chopped scallion. It was much better eating the otoro and fat separately than in the same piece as I had done the previous day. These otoro pieces don’t look anything like what was depicted on the “Fish-for-Sushi” web site. Nine ounces at $65 sounded like a good price but once the large portion of pure fat and skin are factored in, this is not a good buy.