The primary reason I'm ignoring sushi is nutritional. I grew up on white rice, white bread, white Crisco, white sugar and white salt. They are all now to be minimized, if not avoided. Sushi has three of those five, and I don't like the taste of vinegar, anyway. Per mouthful, sashimi has about a tenth the calorie content of sushi. In half an hour I downed twenty sushis at Jiro's (he personally served me) adjacent to the Ginza Station in Tokyo, and might have consumed around 2000 calories, for $300.
The big plus about sashimi is that it has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. The fatter the better. But just for tuna:
|Type of Fish||Total Omega 3 Fat||EPA (unique type of Omega 3 Fat)||DHA (Unique type of Omega 3 Fat)|
|fresh bluefin tuna, baked, 6 ounces||2.5 grams||0.6 grams||1.9 grams|
|fresh albacore tuna, baked, 6 ounces||2.6 grams||0.5 grams||1.7 grams|
|fresh skipjack, baked, 6 ounces||2.7 grams||0.7 grams||2.0 grams|
|Light tuna, canned in water, 6 ounces||0.46 grams||0.08 grams||0.38 grams|
|Light tuna, canned in oil, 6 ounces||0.34 grams||0.05 grams||0.38 grams|
|Starkist TM Albacore tuna, canned in water, 6 ounces*||1.35 grams||data not available||data not available|
|Papa George Gourmet Albacore tuna, canned in olive oil, not drained, 6 ounces||8.1 grams||2.6 grams||5.5 grams|
The American Heart Association recommends a gram of EPA+DHA (the two most prominent omega-3 fatty acids) per day for patients. Not sure why Papa George's cans are so full of omega-3's, but there might be a hint of why in this article.
Then there is the balloon fish, or fugu. The sashimi is not much different from any white fish. However, the really good chefs leave in a little bit of poison so that your lips and tongue feel tingly, and the back of your head and neck have a sense of benumbness.
mountain oysters, the taste and texture are similar. It was almost three decades ago when I had dinner in Kita-Kyushu with a government official from NOAA, a professorial colleague from Nihon University and his benefactor, an industrialist who would be paying for everything. The meal began with one testicle each, and it's hard to imagine that that smallish male fish could have such large testicles. Anyway, my friend from Washington, D.C. refused to eat his testicle, so I had two, Each cost $75, and that was in 1990. For the next two years, most of what I'm doing today formed in my brain, from the Blue Revolution to Rainbow Pearls to the hydrogen economy.
apan consumes 80% of this particular fish, and only 2.6% of what was once there in the Pacific has survived.
A female can lay up to 30 million eggs. As this variety is endangered the world over, wouldn't aquaculture make good sense? The answer is yes, and Kinki University has a laboratory at Wakayama Prefecture. Let me adjust that. Because there are some negative implications about that name, they have international expansion plans, and have changed the name to Kindai University. In any case, their research has led to the beginning of cultivated bluefin tuna.
Skipjack tuna is also called aku or bonito, and is a cheaper sashimi. A big plus is that, while it is #2 only to the Peruvian anchoveta for most fish captured, it is not a threatened specie. It grows up to a length of a yard and appears to be self-sustaining even under current high tech harvesting methods.
- tilefish from Gulf of Mexico = 1.450
- swordfish 0.995
- shark 0.975
- king mackerel 0.730
- bigeye tuna 0.689
- tuna average 0.391
- snapper 0.166
- tilefish from Atlantic 0.144
- canned tuna 0.128
- lobster 0.107
- crab 0.065
- catfish 0.025
- tilapia 0.013
- shrimp 0.001
This year, Hiroshi Onodera paid $323,195 for an 890 pound Pacific bluefin tuna, or a measly $363/pound. Onodera owns two restaurants in Honolulu. Maybe I'll drop by and try a tiny piece.