Tuna is also known as Wei Yu and Tunna Yu in Chinese, commonly known as tuna in English. Whether high-end tuna sashimi or common canned tuna, diners are not unfamiliar with it. However, bluefin tuna is the only tuna that can be claimed as a top ingredient.

Bluefin tuna is the first-rate tuna species with the longest life and largest body. Usually, the price of its meat is at least 1,000 yuan per half kilo. Unlike most of other tunas, which have a preference for warm waters, bluefin tuna usually prefer deeper and colder waters. As a result, they store more fat in their body as a source of energy, which also can keep them warm. Fatty ingredients are highly praised in Japanese cuisine, thus undoubtedly bluefin tuna becomes the king of fish in the Japanese cuisine. In coastal waters of Japan, bluefin tunas spawn in summer, while fishing usually takes place in winter. Seasonal meat of bluefin tuna is bright red in color, rich and luscious in mouthfeel and tastes extremely delicious. Bluefine tuna sashimi paired with wasabi and light soy sauce is gourmets’ favorite.

Bluefin tuna can also be subdivided into Pacific bluefin tuna, Atlantic bluefin tuna, and southern bluefin tuna, while the Pacific bluefin tuna is subdivided into Japanese offshore species and species in the eastern Pacific. The species of bluefin tuna are highly similar in shape. Southern bluefin tuna is smaller than the other two kinds and easy to distinguish. It is hard to distinguish the difference between Pacific bluefin tuna and Atlantic bluefin tuna from their appearances. Only when you cut open the fish, will you find the difference. The number of gill filament of the two fish is different; and the muscles in the back of Atlantic bluefin tuna body cavity are deeply embedded in the flesh in a "V" shape, while the muscles of the Pacific bluefin tuna are growing smoothly along the flesh in a "U" shape. Among the three species, southern bluefin tuna tastes sweeter than the other two, and a two-month fishing season throughout a year makes southern bluefin tuna even more precious. Southern bluefin tuna is also highly praised by the Japanese as a high-end ingredient in making sushi.

Farmed tuna is similar to farmed salmon. It is usually smaller, lighter in meat color, meat flavor and the typical slight-sour taste because of its shorter growing cycle and less exercise, but it has thicker fat. Many people like the taste of the fatter farmed tuna, but in the eyes of top gourmets, wild bluefin tuna is the real outstanding kind among tunas.

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