How to classify your tuna so you can cook it efficiently

Mahi mahi tuna has been used for years to make high quality gourmet dishes, sushi and more interesting food combinations. Learn how to grade your tuna so you can cook it effectively in this post.

How to determine if you have prime quality tuna

For generations, tuna was graded according to a number system created by the Japanese market. The system is color based and is the most popular rating system we use today. Each piece of tuna is graded from #1 (highest), #2+, #2, #3 (lowest). You will usually be able to tell the grade of the fish based on its color. These are the most common grading options for tuna:

  • Grade #1: Completely red and is the highest quality sashimi.
  • Grade #2: There is color loss, solid shelf life, and a high degree of doneness. It is often referred to as low quality sashimi.
  • Grade #3 – Tuna of this quality have a brown flesh and are often cooked and smoked.

Remember, you’ll also want to look at the different characteristics that help make good tuna. While there are some #2 grade fish that appear to taste good at first glance, some illegal fish shops will try to fake the color or preserve the appearance.

For 100% wild caught, raised and cut tuna, we will have to go beyond the basic color values to find out what grade it is in. However, color is an important feature as we generally tend to eat with our eyes. . For example, a Hawaiian Ahi has a gradient of red, making it a 2 on the rating scale. So be sure to check that your tuna is top quality before you try to eat it.

Tail color

Is the meat light or dark? Is it opaque or clear? Where is the red tuna? If it’s dark red, can you see “adult”, marble, machine fat, or some fat in their body “young”, or working to live? Does touching meat taste like water or oil?Does the meat feel hard or dry when you press it?


Is your fish skinny and long or shaped like a soccer ball? Does the fish have a belly? Is there a cavity in the skin and skeletal structure, or does the body of the fish feel connected? Find out the shape of your fish to ensure its external and internal relationships are healthy, easy to cook and ready to eat.


Also, you want to get a sample from the central body of the tuna. You must use a thin but long instrument called a sashibo to find your grade level. Sashibos are tested on the pectoral film of the fish and its lateral line. Next, we need to correct the core of the fish to its tail sample. Be sure to consider its overall texture, including visible fat and color.

final thoughts

Basically, tuna is an interesting fish that has been rated for its edibility and quality for users. Therefore, you should take some time to decide which tuna is your favorite. Once you find your favorite grade, nothing will stop you from enjoying this tasty fish!


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