otoro – video |bluefin|

The ultimate taste is when you have balance and not just fat. Many tourists ravage o-toro, one of those irresistible fatty fish that’s more expensive than hell. But to appreciate sushi, you need to start with the basics and understand the life of a tuna fish, the catch and the slaughter.

IMG_1191 (7)

The bluefin is one of the most prized fish and its fished all over the globe. The blue fin tuna is really blue finned. One of the largest of the tunas, the head is long and somewhat pointed and the eye is small. Two dorsal fins are present, with a small space separating them. The second dorsal fin is taller than the first, and is followed by 7-10 finlets. The pectoral fins are short compared to other members, and the pectoral fins never reach as far back as the space between the dorsal fins.


Domestic Japanese caught O-toro is very limited and one bite says it all. The tuna’s collagen quickly melts in your mouth and the fat explodes on yoour palate coating it. The tuna’s proteins in the muscles has never evolved to tolerate warm, let alone hot temperatures. The tuna controls its body temperature and is always moving with super intense high speeds.

The belly’s fattiness comes from the fact that the bluefin can raise its temperature above the oceans surroundings and therefore it gets fatty insulating the tuna from the cold.


Atlantic bluefins are comfortable in the cold waters off Newfoundland and Iceland, as well as the tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea, where they go each year to spawn. They are among the most ambitiously migratory of all fish, and some tagged specimens have been tracked swimming from North American to European waters several times a year.

Bluefins attain their enormous size by gorging themselves almost constantly on smaller fish, crustaceans, squid, and eels. They will also filter-feed on zooplankton and other small organisms and have even been observed eating kelp.

There is no fish quite like them, nor is there any country like Japan where they are so admired. The Japanese not only admire them, they also have developed sophisticated system to breed them in the oceans around Japan. However the domestically caught tuna off the shores of Japan is still the most prized.

A visit to the Tsukiji in Tokyo would give you an idea as to how important tuna fish is in the local diet. The consumption is enormous and clients pay the price.

The skill of the skill of the blades men in the fish market is second to none and the Japanese sword culture supports the idea of using long and dangerous knives to dismember the fish – nothing is left behind.