Chef's Column

Sushi Grade Tuna: Grading System Part Deux
Sushi Grade Tuna: Grading System Part Deux

Based on the grading system that I outlined in my previous post, Grade #1, sometimes called sushi grade tuna is as high as it gets. The ideal scenario is quite simple: the fish is caught, drained of blood and treated and chilled immediately. If there are no complications the fish should be in perfect, undamaged condition with no internal sicknesses. Deviations from this ideal scenario are common and fish that was once in pristine condition can be physically damaged in shipping, temperature abused, or can begin to decompose. These sources of degredation need to be minimized in order to save the fish from being down-graded from a #1.

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Sushi Grade Tuna: The Grading System
Sushi Grade Tuna: The Grading System

Like any premium product, fresh tuna is priced based on how it is graded.  This is especially true for tuna headed to the sushi kitchens of the world, where appearance and taste are scrutinized with every bite. Like the 3 C's in diamond, each fish is graded - by experienced tuna grader with fifteen to thirty years experience - based on five indicators.

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