Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ootoro, the tenderest of sushis

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If you love tender meats like pork belly, foie gras or duck confit, then you will also fall in love with ootoro, the most melting cut of sushi there is. We ate it for the first time in Hawaii at Sansei restaurant.

Ootoro means "extreme toro" according to S's dad who is Japanese, and from what I can tell this name is a reference to its extreme tenderness. The further down the body of a fish you go, the tenderer and more expensive the cut. Ootoro is taken from the underside of the tuna's belly where there is so much marbling of fat that it literally melts in your mouth.

You can see from the picture that ootoro is very pink, much more so than maguro, a more common cut of tuna found on sushi menus everywhere. Again this is related to the fat content. Maguro is much redder because it is from a much leaner body part, the side of the tuna.

At $17 for a two-piece portion, eating ootoro was a costly education ... but it was a delicious one, too, and so worth it if you love sushi!


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