The bluefin tuna can reach up to 15 feet in length and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. These incredible creatures are some of the fastest, strongest fish in the ocean. And while there are significant regulations when it comes to fishing for bluefin tuna, there remains a high demand for quality bluefin tuna for restaurants and markets around the world.
Different parts of the bluefin fish are used in different dishes. Some cuts have more fat, flavor, or meat than others. Chutoro and otoro are two of the most desired pieces of the tuna because they have a high fat content and a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This article is all about chutoro, a fatty and delicious part of the fish. Keep reading to learn everything you could ever want to know about chutoro and bluefin tuna meat.
Tutorial on Tuna
The bluefin tuna is a saltwater fish. There are three main species of bluefin tuna – Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern. Bluefin tuna is a delicacy and is almost exclusively eaten raw or seared rather than cooked or canned. Unfortunately, the high demand for bluefin tuna has contributed to overfishing over the last four decades. However, with tight regulations in place they are on the comeback. Sustainable fishing of bluefin tuna is a priority for Bluefiná.
There are a few main parts of the tuna you should know – otoro, chutoro, and akami. Each part offers a different taste and texture which means they are served differently depending on where you go. You are likely to find the freshest, most delicious bluefin tuna at sushi restaurants because the raw fish has to meet sushi-grade or sashimi-grade standards.
What Is Bluefin Chutoro?
Chutoro is the meaty, fatty part of the fish found on the back and stomach of the fish. Chutoro is only a small part of this giant fish- which is why it can be expensive. Chutoro is most often served as sashimi which is small, thinly sliced pieces of tuna. Sashimi can be served with sushi rice but many restaurants choose not to serve with rice because the tuna shines on its own.
Chutoro is often a very deep pink, almost red color with some marbling. The marbling indicates the fat content. Chutoro has more fat than akami but less fat than otoro. Chutoro is also served in some steakhouses and sold at high-end markets.
Occasionally chutoro fish is seared which means it’s cooked for a very short amount of time on both sides. This style of preparation offers a different consistency but may take away from the natural flavor and texture of chutoro.
Another less common style of chutoro is served as part of a sushi roll. The chutoro can be accompanied by various pickled vegetables, raw vegetables, and soy sauce all wrapped in nori (seaweed paper). Again, this is not the most authentic way to eat chutoro but some individuals prefer sushi rolls (maki) over sashimi options.
If a restaurant menu does not specify the type of tuna they serve, it could be lower-quality tuna than chutoro or otoro.
Chutoro vs. Otoro
Both chutoro and otoro are part of the body of the fish, also called “toro”. This is where the two parts of the fish get their names. So, how would one compare otoro vs chutoro?
Well, otoro comes from the inside of the tuna’s belly, which is why the fat content is so high. Both otoro and chutoro tuna have the melt-in-your-mouth consistency diners look for when eating sashimi but otoro tends to be a little sweeter. Otoro is known for having an amazing umami flavor.
Otoro is probably the most popular and sought-after cut of bluefin tuna which is why it’s more expensive than chutoro. You can learn more about chutoro online when you visit the Bluefina website.
Akami is the third most common type of tuna from bluefin. Akami comes from the center of the tuna’s body. Because there’s more real estate of akami from the fish, it’s less expensive and used in a number of different types of sushi.
Akami has the least amount of fat which some people prefer and others would rather stick to the otoro or chutoro. Try all three parts of bluefin tuna and see what your favorite is!
Other Parts of the Tuna
There are a few other bluefin tuna terms you may want to be familiar with if you are shopping for tuna or ordering it. The term maguro refers to the entire fish. In traditional Japanese cooking, chefs like to be able to use every part of the fish whether it’s for sushi or for fish stew.
Kabutoyaki is the head of a bluefin tuna cooked whole. While it may intimidate the average fish eater, it’s not uncommon to see it on Japanese menus. The kama is part of the fish’s gill, so there are only two pieces for the whole fish. The fatty part of kama is kamatoro which resembles a marbled steak.
If you’ve ever ordered shabu-shabu you’ve probably had kamatoro. Kama can be found in barbecue dishes, soups, and stews. The tail of a bluefin tuna is also common for tuna steaks or barbeque. It’s a fatty consistency but not considered sashimi-gradee like otoro and chutoro.
Cheers to Chutoro
Chutoro is a medium-fatty part of a bluefin tuna fish. It’s a delectable bite of rich, melt-in-your-mouth fish that is often served raw as sashimi. Compared to otoro, chutoro is less fatty but is still a popular and high-demand part of the fish.
Bluefina is the worldwide leader in tuna ranching. Our sustainably-raised, high-quality tuna is some of the best in the world. We believe in our methods of raising bluefin tuna to create the best possible environment and the best possible product. So, whether it’s chutoro, otoro, or akami, we have tuna we can be proud of.
You can learn more about our brand online or contact us with questions or to get more information.