What is Otoro Bluefin Tuna?
If you're a seafood lover, you've probably heard of blue fin tuna, one of the most prized fish in the world. But have you ever heard of otoro? Otoro is the fattiest and most flavorful part of the blue fin tuna, located in the belly area. It is a true delicacy that melts in your mouth, leaving you with a rich and unforgettable taste.
Otoro is highly sought after by sushi chefs and seafood connoisseurs for its succulent and buttery texture. It's a true culinary masterpiece that takes years of experience to prepare correctly. In this blog post, we'll explore the beauty of otoro, where it comes from, how it's prepared, and the best ways to enjoy it.
Where Does Otoro Come From?
Otoro is a Japanese word that means "big toro," referring to the part of the tuna that comes from the belly area. Bluefin tuna, the source of otoro, is a large migratory fish that can be found in various parts of the world, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.
However, the highest quality bluefin tuna is known to come from the waters around Japan. That's why Wagyuman directly imports all of its sushi straight from Japan!
To obtain otoro, the bluefin tuna must be mature and have a high-fat content. Tuna that are caught earlier in their lifespan do not have enough fat to produce otoro. That's why otoro is considered a rare and expensive delicacy, as only a small percentage of each tuna is suitable for its production.
Otoro is so highly prized, the bluefin tuna it comes from are often sold at auctions for exorbitant prices. In 2013, a 489-pound tuna even sold for $1.8 million! While that was mostly a publicity stunt, you can see how highly sought-after these fish are.
What is Otoro?
Otoro (大トロ) is the fattiest and most luxurious part of the maguro (bluefin tuna), located in the belly area. It's one of the most sought-after cuts of tuna due to its rich and buttery texture that melts in your mouth, leaving behind a unique and unforgettable flavor.
Toro, in general, is the fatty part of the tuna found in the belly and is divided into two types: otoro and chutoro. Otoro is the fattiest and most expensive part, while chutoro is slightly less fatty and more affordable.
The fat content in otoro is what makes it so special, as it contains high amounts of DHA and EPA, which are essential omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to our health. Otoro is also rich in vitamins A, D, and E. However, note that otoro is high in calories due to its fat content.
Despite its high-fat content, otoro has a surprisingly sweet taste and a soft, almost creamy texture. When you eat otoro, it feels like it's melting in your mouth, creating a unique and unforgettable culinary experience.
Visually, otoro appears more white than red due to the high-fat content. Some people may assume that a fatty cut of meat would taste greasy, but otoro is different. Its unique type of fat is what gives it its smooth texture and sweet flavor.
How is Otoro Prepared and Served?
As mentioned earlier, preparing otoro is a skill that requires years of experience and expertise. The first step in preparing otoro is selecting the right piece of tuna. The tuna must be mature and have a high-fat content, which indicates the quality of the meat.
Once the right piece of tuna is selected, the sushi chef will use a sharp knife to carefully slice the otoro against the grain. This technique creates thin slices of meat that are easy to chew and dissolve in your mouth. The slices of otoro are usually served on a small bed of sushi rice or on their own, accompanied by a few condiments and sauces.
Otoro can also be used in other dishes, such as sashimi, poke bowls, and even grilled or seared. Whatever style you choose, just know most professional chefs would argue otoro is best enjoyed in its raw form, as cooking can alter its delicate flavor and texture.
Whether you're a sushi lover or a seafood connoisseur, trying otoro is an experience you won't forget. If you'd like to enjoy the amazing cut of bluefin tuna known as otoro in your own kitchen, you can order straight from us at Wagyuman, where we directly import it from Japan.