Sunday, November 21, 2010


This is the first time I've thawed and served my own tuna, and since I got such precise directions from Hikuzo, who works at Tsukiji, I thought I might as well share them.

Unwrap the several layers of paper.

The vertical lines might be artifacts of band-sawing, which I think is how frozen tuna is usually pieced out.

Use the back of a knife to scrape off all the crap.

Then give it a bath to help it warm up. Use 4% salt solution, at a temperature 'just below bathwater'. In Japan, that means something like 38-40 degrees. Bathe for 90 seconds, then turn over and bathe for another 90 seconds.

Blot the water off and wrap the block in kitchen paper. Put it in the fridge for 3+ hours to thaw completely.

Voila. Incidentally, this is farmed Spanish tuna, so it's sustainable and all that.

The directions ran out at this point, so once it was thawed I whipped out a knife, trimmed off the skin and weird bits at the bottom...

and butchered the hell out of it. I think more trimming might have been called for, because I left some tendon at one corner. Couldn't really see how to cut it out without ruining the whole block though. I was already bummed about some bits I had to trim, which is why there are those chunky bits at the top and bottom. Perhaps the aggressive butchery and disposal to get good slices and absence of butsu is what drives the price up so much.



  1. Wow, Jon, that is a lot of tuna. We can get similar frozen tuna by mail order and their instruction of how to thaw is identical. How did it taste?

  2. I forgot the link