Origin: Pacific Island, West Coast Method of Capture: Long-Line Wild or Farmed: Wild
Best Choice by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch: Albacore caught by U.S. fleets in the North Pacific Ocean with trolling lines or handlines is a "Best Choice." The albacore population in the Pacific is healthy, and overfishing is a low concern. Also, there's little to no bycatch in this fishery. Management is rated moderately effective overall. A precautionary plan is in place, but there are no controls on fishing levels. There's minimal impact on the seafloor, but more information is needed about this fishery's effect on the ecosystem.
The flesh of Albacore turns from beige to pink as the fish matures. It has the most delicate flavor of all the tuna species with a fine texture and silky taste due to the high fat content. It is neither as dense nor as firm as other varieties of tuna, making it a unique choice for sashimi preparations.
- Albacore or "Tombo" tuna is wonderful raw and lightly marinated. Try a simple set dressed with a nice fruity olive oil, orange zest, fennel and olives over thin sliced or chopped albacore. - Lightly seared works very well too. Sprinkle with Provencal Herbs and cook for 20 seconds on each side. Slice and serve. -Albacore is the variety of tuna most suited to poaching as well as grilling and for confit.
Store your seafood in the coldest part of the refrigerator at 32 degrees for up to 3 days. In the refrigerator we recommend removing the fillets from their packaging and wrapping them carefully in 2 layers of paper towels to absorb any moisture and firm the fish up for cooking and consuming.
If you don’t plan to consume the fish within 3 days, simply place in the freezer.
To thaw: place seafood in the refrigerator overnight.
It's a very good question! In general, there is nothing regulatory that either makes something sushi-grade or not. We use our best judgement from being chefs to now being intimately connected to the seafood industry and also being a huge fan of sushi to determine whether or not something is sushi-grade. Some things help us make our decision.
One might be how the fish was bled. If a fish is not bled properly, it won't be good for sushi. Not because it isn't fresh, but the blood imparts a flavor that is undesirable for raw seafood.
Surprisingly, most of the fish used for sushi here is previously frozen for convenience. When served raw, the freezing doesn't affect the texture or flavor of the fish very much. However, we prefer tuna that hasn't been frozen.
Generally, we will recommend something as sushi-grade if we personally know how long the fish has been out of water, how well it eats raw (some fish will never be sushi-grade, because it doesn't have a nice mouthfeel), and how it's been treated after it was caught.