6+ Tastiest Types of Sushi Tuna You Should Try

Key sushi tuna types include Yellowfin, Southern Bluefin, Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, and prized Bluefin, each offering unique flavors and textures for sushi lovers to enjoy.

best sushi tuna 6+ Tastiest Types of Sushi Tuna You Should Try

Arguably the most popular fish used in sushi (sorry, Salmon), tuna is one of the tastiest, most delectable cuts from the sea within the Japanese delicacy. It’s used in various rolls and is a fan favorite globally.

But did you know that there are many different kinds of tuna out there?

Like many fish, tuna comes in a large number of variations and species, each with its distinct taste and texture. If you’re looking for something new to try, then here are 6 of the best sushi tuna you should try.

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Yellowfin Tuna

Raw tuna steak

One of the most common types of tuna used in sushi is Yellowfin tuna. It has a dark red coloration when fresh and looks similar to beef when cut.

As for the taste, it’s very mild compared to other types of tuna and has a subtle sweetness on the tongue. Since it’s relatively cheap, you’ll see it most frequently at all-you-can-eat sushi establishments and conveyor belt restaurants.

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus saltwater fish in mediterranean

The Southern Bluefin tuna is a type of Bluefin tuna found in the southern hemisphere and is commonly referred to in Japan as “Indian tuna.” Its flesh takes on a dark color, and the fish has a meaty, almost steaky flavor.

Sadly, the Southern Bluefin tuna is a critically endangered species, and fishing laws have become more strict on catching and distributing them. That said, they are still available in limited supply, and if you ever have the chance to try some, you should seize the opportunity.

Albacore Tuna

raw piece of tuna albacore fish, side view

Albacore tuna is the most inexpensive tuna on the market and is usually found in cans. It is also a valuable ingredient in sushi, with many opting to make spicy tuna rolls out of it since it’s a cheaper ingredient. 

Albacore tuna can be identified by its light pink, almost white, flesh, and firm texture. Like Yellowfin tuna, Albacore is mild in taste with a delicate sea fragrance.

Bigeye Tuna

Known for their, well, big eyes, the Bigeye tuna has a steak-like texture with a mellow, fatty taste. It’s not quite as rich as Bluefin toro, but it’s much more distinguishable and of higher quality than Yellowfin. 

Bigeye tuna is one of the two types of Ahi tuna, the other being Yellowtail.

Skipjack Tuna

Catch skipjack tuna fish portrait detail Atlantic seafood

Known as Katsuo in Japan, Skipjack Tuna is hard to find outside the country. Since its flesh is known to degrade quickly, it must be prepared fresh and is usually eaten as sashimi or nigiri.

Skipjack tuna is also known for being prepared as Tataki, which is where the meat is seared on the outside while the inside is left raw. The taste is lean, meaty, and deep.

Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna Closeup Underwater Photo

Leaving the best for last, Bluefin tuna is the most prized fish amongst sushi chefs worldwide. It’s known for its complex, fatty flesh and intensely rich flavor that melts in your mouth. Given that it’s so high in demand yet limited in supply, it’s the most expensive sushi you can get.

Bluefin tuna is most known for its underbelly, or Toro, which is the fattiest, most flavorful cut of the fish.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions around the web:

What is the best type of tuna for sushi?

While the “best” type of tuna sushi depends on personal preference, the most prized and sought-out fish is the Bluefin tuna.

What kind of tuna is used in sushi rolls?

Yellowfin and albacore tuna are best suited for sushi rolls. Due to their inexpensive nature and mild flavor, they are extremely versatile and can be prepared with many other ingredients without inhibiting a more expensive cut, such as Bluefin.

Which is better, Ahi or Yellowfin tuna?

Ahi is the Hawaiian name for Yellowfin tuna. They are the same, so one cannot be superior to the other, now can they?

Which tuna tastes best?

Many sushi connoisseurs swear by Bluefin tuna, while others pledge allegiance to Bigeye. If you like fattier cuts, then Bluefin is best. If you want a leaner fish, then Bigeye is the way to go. Either way, these are two of the highest quality, best-tasting sushi available on the market.

More FAQs

What is the best tuna for sushi?

The best tuna for sushi is typically Bluefin tuna, which is commonly served in high-end sushi establishments due to its unparalleled taste and reputation as the most exquisite tuna variety worldwide.

What kind of tuna is sushi-grade?

Sushi-grade tuna includes various types such as albacore, bigeye, bluefin, bonito, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna. These species are considered safe to consume raw with minimal processing due to their resistance to parasites.

What is the highest grade of tuna?

The highest grade of tuna is #1, followed by #2+, #2, and #3. Tuna is evaluated based on five categories: initial appearance, size and shape, color, texture, and fat content.

What is better tuna or albacore?

Tuna and albacore both offer lean protein, omega-3 fats, selenium, and other essential nutrients. Although albacore tuna has slightly more fat and calories, the variation is so minimal that it should not discourage you from choosing either option.

Is ahi tuna sushi-grade?

Ahi tuna is sushi-grade and can be used for sushi or sashimi dishes. It is also suitable for pan-searing, grilling, and pairs well with vegetables or rice.

Can ahi tuna be eaten raw?

Ahi tuna can be eaten raw, as it is best served lightly seared on the outside while remaining tender and raw in the middle. It is important to use sushi-grade ahi for this purpose.

What is the most expensive type of tuna sushi?

The most expensive type of tuna sushi is the Bluefin tuna, especially the ones caught in the waters surrounding Japan. These Bluefin tunas are auctioned off directly from the docks to local markets and prestigious sushi restaurants.

Is raw tuna good for sushi?

Raw tuna is indeed good for sushi. It is a popular choice for sushi and sashimi, traditional Japanese dishes that consist of a mix of rice, raw fish, vegetables, and seaweed. Tuna is a lean source of protein that offers omega-3 fatty acids, along with various vitamins and minerals. It is commonly served raw or lightly cooked, and it can also be found in canned form.

Which type of tuna tastes best?

The taste of different types of tuna varies, with albacore being firm and meaty, having a light and mild flavor, while yellowfin and skipjack are softer, richer, and more intense in taste. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference: if you prefer a milder tuna flavor, go for albacore; if you desire a stronger taste, opt for yellowfin or skipjack.

Which is better yellowfin or albacore tuna?

Yellowfin and albacore tuna have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Albacore, also known as Bonito del Norte, is widely regarded as a superior tuna due to its exceptional flavor, velvety texture, and pale appearance. On the other hand, yellowfin tuna has a reddish hue and a slightly less refined texture, but it still maintains a delightful taste.

What is the most expensive tuna?

The most expensive tuna is the Bluefin, which can cost anywhere from $20 to $5,000 per pound. Following closely is the Bigeye tuna, priced between $40 to $200 per pound. The Yellowfin tuna comes in third, with a price range of $30 to $35 per pound. Lastly, the Skipjack tuna is the most affordable, ranging from $23 to $30 per pound.

What is the difference between ahi tuna and bluefin tuna?

The difference between ahi tuna and bluefin tuna lies in their size. Ahi tuna are generally smaller compared to bluefin tuna, with all three bluefin species being larger on average. Southern bluefin tuna can reach lengths of 8ft 2in and weigh up to 570 pounds, while Pacific bluefin tuna can grow up to 9.8 feet long and weigh as much as 990 pounds.

Is albacore tuna better than regular tuna?

Albacore tuna is not necessarily better than regular tuna, as both types offer similar nutritional benefits. All varieties of canned tuna provide lean protein, omega-3 fats, selenium, and other essential nutrients. Although albacore tuna contains slightly more fat and calories, the disparity is negligible and should not discourage consumption.

What is the difference between ahi tuna and albacore tuna?

The difference between ahi tuna and albacore tuna lies in their flavor and texture. Ahi Tuna is renowned for its high fat content, which contributes to its rich flavor and meaty texture. On the other hand, Albacore Tuna has a milder taste and a softer, more delicate texture.

Does tuna or salmon taste better raw?

Tuna and salmon have subtle flavor differences, but generally, salmon is considered to have a stronger, oilier, or fishier taste compared to tuna. Like tuna, salmon can be enjoyed raw in dishes like sushi or Hawaiian poke bowls, or cooked if desired. When cooked, salmon tends to be more tender and easily flakes compared to tuna.

What type of tuna is ahi?

Ahi is a type of tuna that refers to two species in Hawaii, namely the yellowfin tuna and the bigeye tuna. It can be distinguished from the bigeye tuna by its slimmer profile and the bright yellow color of its soft dorsal and anal fins and finlets.

Why is bluefin tuna so expensive?

Bluefin tuna is expensive due to its high demand among sushi enthusiasts, thanks to its exceptional taste and texture. Additionally, the overfishing of Bluefin Tuna has significantly reduced its population, leading to a scarcity of this fish and further driving up its price.

What is the best cut of tuna for sashimi?

The best cut of tuna for sashimi is Akami Tuna. It is the main part of the fish and is more easily accessible compared to the other cuts, known as chūtoro and otoro. Akami has the lowest fat content among all the cuts, making it the most cost-effective option. Typically, Akami is used as a topping on rice in sashimi or nigiri dishes.

What is the best tuna to eat raw?

The best tuna to eat raw is any type of tuna, including bluefin, yellowfin, skipjack, or albacore. Tuna has been used in sushi for centuries and is considered a symbol of sushi and sashimi.

What is sushi grade tuna called?

Sushi grade tuna is commonly referred to as “sushi-” or “sashimi-grade” tuna, and it can often be found in a separate section of fish markets. Additionally, reputable fish markets may also offer sushi- or sashimi-grade hamachi and fluke.

Is yellowfin or bluefin tuna better for sashimi?

Bluefin Tuna is the preferred fish for sashimi and sushi dishes due to its meaty texture with large flakes, rich and full flavour, and its melt-in-your mouth texture and deep red colouring. It has the darkest and fattiest flesh among all the tuna varieties.

What is the most expensive cut of tuna?

The most expensive cut of tuna is the toro or belly area, which is highly prized and sought after. Specifically, the otoro is considered the premium cut of this luxurious tuna fish. It is a small belly cut located closer to the head of the fish, renowned for being the fattiest part with a fat content of approximately 30-40%.

What is the most common tuna sashimi?

The most common tuna sashimi is Bigeye Tuna, which is commonly found in sushi and sashimi offerings at supermarkets, inexpensive restaurants, and sushi-train bars. On the other hand, Yellowfin Tuna is typically used for canned products. Unlike its fatty counterparts, yellowfin tuna has a low-fat content and offers a light and refreshing taste.

What are the three types of tuna sushi?

The three types of tuna sushi are fatty belly tuna (otoro), medium fatty belly (chutoro), and lean tuna (akami), which are obtained by cutting the giant tuna into three main sections. Despite their small cuts on the sushi plate, tuna fish themselves can weigh up to 500 pounds, much larger than one might expect.

What kind of tuna is sashimi grade?

Sashimi grade tuna includes various types such as albacore, bigeye, bluefin, bonito, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna. These species are considered safe to consume raw with minimal processing due to their resistance to parasites.

Is sashimi tuna the same as ahi tuna?

Sashimi tuna is not the same as ahi tuna. Ahi tuna is a type of tuna that can be found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. It is a lean, white fish that is often served raw as sushi or sashimi, or cooked to a rare or medium-rare doneness.

What is the best tuna for nigiri?

The best tuna for nigiri is typically Maguro, a type of tuna with red flesh that is commonly used in the recipe. In Japan, there are three main types of Maguro used for sushi: bluefin, yellowfin, and bigeye. In the United States, Albacore tuna, also known as white tuna, is often used in sushi and sashimi recipes.

What is the difference between sushi and sashimi grade tuna?

The difference between sushi and sashimi grade tuna lies in the level of freshness and fat content. Sushi-grade tuna must be exceptionally fresh since it is consumed raw, while sashimi-grade tuna also requires high freshness but with a higher fat content.

How do you pick sushi grade tuna?

The process of selecting sushi grade tuna involves assessing its quality and freshness based on its appearance and texture. The color of the tuna is particularly important in determining its suitability for sushi. It is advisable to avoid tuna that exhibits a bright, artificial-looking, and almost see-through red hue.

Is grocery store tuna safe for sushi?

Grocery store tuna may be safe for sushi if it is labeled as sushi-grade or sashimi-grade, indicating that it was caught, cleaned, and frozen promptly while still on the boat. However, it is important to note that even with these labels, there is still a possibility of parasites. Nonetheless, opting for sushi-grade or sashimi-grade tuna is the recommended choice for enjoying sushi or sashimi.

How can you tell if grocery store fish is sushi grade?

You can determine if grocery store fish is sushi grade by considering that there is no established standard for sushi grade fish. Therefore, it is not advisable to solely rely on a sushi grade label. The term sushi grade is unregulated and may be employed as a marketing tactic to sell fish without any substantiated consequences.

Is Costco tuna sushi grade?

Costco offers sashimi-grade super frozen yellowfin tuna and wagyu sashimi-grade Hamachi, which are both suitable for sushi.

Is AAA grade tuna sushi-grade?

AAA grade tuna is considered sushi-grade. Our Saku Tuna, which is a precision-cut portion of center-cut tuna loin, is of premium quality and falls under the AAA #01 grade. It is ideal for making sushi, sashimi, and tataki. This premium yellowfin saku is boneless, skinless, and has had the blood line removed.

What is the highest grade of tuna sushi?

The highest grade of tuna sushi is known as Grade 1 Tuna, also referred to as sushi grade or sashimi-grade. This grade is considered to be the freshest and highest quality of tuna, suitable for sashimi due to its exceptional freshness.

How can you tell if tuna is fresh for sushi?

You can determine if tuna is fresh for sushi by examining its appearance. Fresh fish should have a bright, shiny, and translucent look. While many sushi restaurants use frozen fish, you can still assess its “preserved freshness” by observing its visual characteristics. Frozen fish maintains its vibrant color and appears uniform without any patches or changes in color.

Does tuna need to be sushi-grade for sushi?

Tuna does not necessarily need to be sushi-grade for sushi. The taste of top-quality fish, when consumed raw, can only be compared to some of the finest Wagyu steaks. Our customers often inquire about the classification of our fish as “Sushi Grade” or “Sashimi Grade,” but they are often surprised by our response: such classifications do not exist.

Is ahi tuna sushi grade tuna?

Ahi tuna is indeed considered sushi grade tuna. It is a type of tuna that can be found in tropical and subtropical oceans, and it is commonly served as sushi, sashimi, or cooked rare or medium-rare. Additionally, it can be prepared by grilling, pan-frying, or searing.

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