Tuna Cutting and Talk Show at CJC Gathering
• The members of the Chicago Japanese Club enjoyed learning
about bluefin tuna and eating platefuls of sashimi at the Schaumburg STP
Tennis Club Lounge on November 19.
• Kawamura usually deals with naturally caught tuna; however, he brought a 120 pound-farmed bluefin tuna from Java, Mexico. Why was it farmed tuna instead bringing a natural catch?
• He explained the reason. All tuna sold in fish markets are headless except if farmed in Mexico or Turkey. He believes that bringing headless tuna would be a bad luck for his audience. He also said that farmed tuna was tasty because red meat contained a good amount of fat.
Types and Characteristics of Tuna
• There are mainly three types of tuna, Pacific bluefin tuna, Northern bluefin tuna, and Southern bluefin tuna. Southern tuna is the fattiest, with double the fat of the other types of tuna.
• Pacific bluefin tuna has strong flavor of umami, and
its toro (fatty part) is white, so it has a white-meat part and a red-meat
• Tuna’s tail fin is cut when the fish is sold at a market, and dealers watch the kerf and presume the amount of fat in it. The kerf is a key factor to decide tuna’s grade.
• The Kindai University has succeeded in raising tuna
from fries, and provided adult tuna to the fish markets and foot-long
juvenile fish to other fish farms. They are called “Kindai tuna” and legally
imported to the U.S. if the tuna are raised from fries.
Seasons of Tuna
• Opening day of Southern tuna is May first, and Boston
tuna is June first. Natural catches are well fattened, so they are popular
among Americans. That’s a reason why Kawamura mainly deals with natural
The First Tuna Auction of the Year
• In 2013 at the first auction of the year in Japan,
the first tuna was sold to the owner of a sushi restaurant chain “Sushizanmai”
at a closing bid price of $1.37 million. The 100-pound tuna was caught
by a fisherman with a fishing rod. Kawamura said that the tuna meat was
little dry because the fish fought hard with the fisherman to escape.
• When sashimi, slices of tuna meat, was ready, Kawamura gave some advice to the audience on how to enjoy tuna sashimi. “Don’t eat toro first. You’ll feel full stomach with three or five slices and can’t eat more. So eat red meat first.”
• Yoshiyuki Kawamura graduated from the graduate school
of Waseda University in 1998 and came to Boston to get an MBA. During
his study in Waseda, he had part-time jobs in fish markets, and the experience
finally brought him in the tuna industry.
Yoshiyuki Kawamura, owner of the Sakanaya in Boston demonstrates tuna cutting.
The members of Chicago Japanese Club enjoy eating tuna sashimi.