This Is The Worst Cut Of Tuna You Can Buy

Good, fresh fish can be a delicious and nutritious meal option, but if you're buying the highest-quality, it's generally not cheap. When you're springing for some fresh caught tuna, you want to make sure you know what you're buying so you don't get ripped off. After all, most of us aren't exactly fish experts, so it's easy to end up choosing the wrong or a low-quality cut. 

According to Onboard Online, the lowest-quality cut on a bluefin tuna is the harashimo, which you'll often find used to fill sushi rolls. Mutual Trading Company, Inc., a Japanese food, alcohol beverage, and restaurant supply specialist company from Los Angeles who call themselves "the Japanese food authority," explains that harashimo is cut from the lower abdomen of the fish, and is a semi-fatty cut with red meat. The fat, they say, is only "moderate-quality".

Another tuna cut recommended against is the seshimo, which comes from the fibrous meat found in the lower back of the fish and has very little fat. While both of these are perfectly adequate cuts of tuna, you deserve more than "perfectly adequate" when other, way better cuts of the fish are available. 

What cuts of tuna should you buy instead?

If you're looking for akami, the lean meat that's most commonly used in sushi, Onboard Online says that senaka, found in the mid-back, is the highest-quality cut you can get. Mutual Trading Company calls it "a combination of superb and standard grade red meat, that is fatty, but a bit fibrous".

What if, on the other hand, you're springing for toro, the fattier cuts of tuna which are more of a delicacy? Then you want harakami from the upper abdomen of the fish, which Mutual Trading Company describes as "the highest-quality fatty tuna, with marbling throughout". Onboard Online says there are two toro cuts, chutoro and otoro. They describe the otoro cut as "...fatty almost to the point of falling apart and can literally melt in your mouth. The unique and delicious taste of otoro charms the majority of people as soon as they sample it. The amazing sirloin feel of raw tuna fuses together with the fatty tissue from the belly to generate a rich and creamy experience inside your mouth." They state the chutoro cut is a good choice as well, which some people prefer even compared to otoro because (while still very fatty) chutoro is the less fatty of the two.

Now you know which are the best and worst cuts of tuna, so you don't end up overpaying for a middle-grade, overly chewy cut when you could have had rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth tuna goodness.