Maguro (Red Tuna): Ever Thought of Having Varieties of Flavors in One Fish? | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Maguro (Red Tuna): Ever Thought of Having Varieties of Flavors in One Fish?

By Guidable Writers Feb 19, 2017

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) Japanese Spanish Chinese (Traditional)


Dear sushi lovers, when you enter a great sushi restaurant, and you cannot wait to grab yourself some dishes for your starving stomach. Numerous types of fishes with different colors are exhibiting in front of you. There is always a fresh redfish right there surely can attract your attention.


That is “Red Tuna”, which is called “鮪(Maguro)” in Japanese, the history of fishing maguro in Japan can be traced back to 1000 years ago. There are many species of tuna you can find in Japanese sushi restaurant and market. However, the most popular one is 本マグロ(クロマグロ), which is also named マグロの王様(The king of Maguro)This type of fish has a relatively larger size and outstanding quality of meat, thus is often being seen in different Japanese sushi restaurants.


BUT, have you ever thought of:

  • Do you think All Maguro are red?
  • Have you thought about having plenty of flavors from one fish?
  • Do you know the differences between them?




Beautiful Red color of the sashimi itself makes recognizable and can open up your appetite instantly. The texture is smoother and tenderer compares with the other parts. In sushi restaurants, “maguro sushi” is usually served with akami. And certainly price is also more acceptable to most of customers.




It can be found on both back and belly of the fish, color is whiter than Akami, great combination of fat and Akami make it become the most POPULAR order on the menu! No matter you have it as sashimi or sushi, please enjoy the moment of fish melting in your mouth!




This is the belly part with higher proportion of body fat, it is extremely soft and enriched flavor can easily be sensed by your taste buds. Since there is only limited amount of otoro can be collected from every individual fish, otoro is also the most expensive part of Maguro. Usually it can be only found in high-class sushi restaurant so if you have chance to taste it, make sure you close your eyes and enjoy every bites. It will NOT makes you disappointed.




Every Maguro only has 2 pieces of hoho-niku. Texture is fibrous so can be easily differed from the other parts. Fried and grill are pretty good ways to cook it. Such as deep-fried maguro or fish steak.


 (Reference: シーユニオン)



After having them all, we have bones left and nakaochi is the meat left over near bones, this part of meat is mainly used for making ネギトロ(Negi-toro)it tastes creamy and pure.


(Reference: 柴ポチダイアリー)


Besides Maguro sushi and sashimi, “Maguro Don” is also a great way to taste the flavor of Maguro. A bowl of white rice covered by fresh maguro sashimi, with green wasabi on the side of bowl…YAM!


And now, I am sure you know how to pick your own dish of maguro!




Some of the most valuable parts on Maguro nowadays, 中トロand 大トロ was actually considered as a useless part therefore being abandoned for a long period of time in the history. That was because body fat usually gets rotten and stinky during delivery due to the undeveloped refrigeration, especially in the summer. So fisherman always chose to carry the 赤身 but not トロ!


Robin Qiulin Wang