For recipe development today I needed a block of sushi/sashimi quality tuna for raw consumption. The best place for me to go for such high quality tuna is Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, New Jersey (www.mitsuwa.com ). Lacking a US license I do not drive (I acquired a learner’s permit last summer, so I am planning to push myself this summer to get the license) and it is a 2 1/2 hours round trip from my place to Mitsuwa if I use public transportation (the store operated shuttle bus leaves from and returns to the New York City Port Authority Bus Station. It is convenient, but the bus leaves every hour or so. If you miss the one you aimed for, you are stuck waiting for the next. If that happens, don’t worry. There is quick-service restaurant area in the store where you can enjoy Japanese foods from sushi to ramen. So instead of making the long journey, I walked to our local WHOLE FOODS store where I know that they carry the frozen sushi/sashimi tuna.
I covered tuna intensively in my book, The Sushi Experience , but here is short note on the many varieties of tuna. The Blue Ocean Institute, a group concerned with sustainable seafood, states that “Tunas (Yellowfin and Bigeye tunas, pole- and troller-caught) are fast-growing, prolific breeders, and wide-ranging, but many populations remain depleted.” Bluefin, the largest and most famous of the tunas, which is noted for its melting tender belly meat, toro, and attractive deep bright red color, is heavily depleted. You can easily distinguish these different tuna from each other at your local fish monger. Yellowfin tuna flesh is in watermelon color (WHOLE FOODS carries this type); Bluefin has deep red flesh; Bigeye tuna is brighter, lighter red color. The price also gives a strong clue to the variety tells the variety, from most expensive to least expensive the order is; Bluefin, Bigeye, Yellowfin. Select right species and please consume in moderation. Like you, I want these wonderful creatures of the sea to be properly conserved on into the future.