Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sashimi--Pacific Bluefin Tuna

My brother Warren sent me a text the other day saying he caught bluefin tuna on his weekend fishing trip--and to come over and get some.

I grabbed my camera and headed over to his house to learn how to take a fresh-caught ocean fish and turn it into sashimi.

I made a much fancier plate before--the Sashimi post in my first month of blogging.

It's pretty easy to cut up a piece of fish that's already been filleted.

Using a sharp knife, slice the fish in one motion--down and away, then back towards you--if you don't have a long knife and can't slice it in one swipe.

You're not supposed to saw at the fish.

Arrange the slices on a bed of a sliced vegetable--this time I'm using lettuce.

You could use daikon cut into threads or some julienned cucumbers.

For other serving suggestions, see my sashimi post.

This time my husband's going to eat the fish with just hot rice with wasabi and shoyu.

Warren brought home 8 of these bluefin tuna and two small yellowtail.

He cuts up all the fish, so when you come and pick it up, it's all ready in plastic bags--you only need to clean it up a bit and slice it.

It's a lot of work, I got tired just watching him!

The first thing he does is wipe-down the outside of the fish.

Actually, the first thing he does is make sure his fillet knife is really sharp.

The first cut he makes is behind the fin that's behind the head.

The second cut is made above the tail--about the length of the little fin  to the tail--because there are a lot of tendons there.

Then he slides the knife over the middle bones from the tail to the first cut.

He takes the fillet and cuts it in half.

Then takes the quarter and cuts that in half and angles his knife to remove the skin.

 If all the skin doesn't come off it's trimmed away by the person that prepares the sashimi.

The dark part on the upper right is also trimmed away when the fish is cut for sashimi.

Trim away any parts of the fish that is damaged by the boat's deck hands gaffing the fish indiscriminately--those parts are okay to eat cooked, but not for sashimi.

I learned how to fillet a big fish, but I'm happy and appreciative of my brother doing it all for me--for our whole family.

The best part was listening to him talk about what happens on the boat and the people he fishes with--Warren can tell a good story.

Then my sister-in-law Lorraine treated me to a piece of her delicious cake with fresh berries and whipped cream.

What a nice afternoon!

I also got to visit with Lucy.

I have yet to capture Lucy and her big smiles on video.

That is a sight to see!

Warren's a great brother.

He gives me a push when I need it.

I let him ride my bike when it's no longer so new.

When I was in high school, he let me ride his new bike--which I accidentally scratched up when I took a bad tumble while riding with Wendy Herrington.

At least I didn't blow up the tire at the gas station like Wendy did when she tried to add some air with the same hose they use for cars.

To this day, it makes me laugh when I think of it.

Thanks, Warren, for not getting mad when I scratched up your new bike.

And for being supportive of me when I needed it most.

Love you!


  1. I doubt that you will approve this comment for post (found your dish via, but isn't this the same bluefin tuna declining at alarming rates and one of the number one fishes not to eat due to sustainability?

  2. @Natalie--Thanks for your comment. I spent half a day reading about bluefin tuna and watching videos of fishing methods such as long lining and purse seining. No wonder tuna is declining at an alarming rate.

  3. Looks so so so good!!! Karolyn, NEVER stop posting recipes. 3 for 3 right now, your recipes are making my boyfriend a very happy man!! :)

  4. @natalie - its no joke bluefin are facing a pandemic, sport fishing boats have to travel three times the distances to reach fish compared to years past. Notice the first sentence of the blog, this fish was caught with a line and hook. Believe it or not, sport fishing does not hurt tuna population as much as you think. Anglers pay for a yearly license that actually help fund and monitor fish populations. It's commercial fishing that is depleting he blue fins. Over fishing means less tuna ... if more people were into sport fishing, there would be less need for commercial fishing, leading towards more delicious fish for our younger generations to come. Thank you for your concern

  5. Sorry, I think I just mis used the word pandemic... I used text to speech on my Droid, and it inserted pandemic instead of epidemic

  6. Awesome photos! To be honest, slicing the fish in one motion is an art. A sharp knife makes your work easy and efficient. When I'm working on a fillet I rely on the DMT ceramic edge sharpener to keep my carving and culinary blades sharp. Any experience using these products?

    - Max