It was a random Saturday afternoon when Reach and I walked into Little Tokyo Marketplace when I saw a sign that read “Tuna Cutting Performance 2pm.” I wasn’t sure what to think of it but thought that it must be some kind of show. And since it was about 15 minutes to 2, we decided to shop and stick around for this tuna show.
When it was almost time for the tuna show, a small crowd started to gather near the seafood counter and there was a huge Bluefin tuna right on top of it! It must have been 200lbs! The show finally began and I watched in awe of this epic performance of this person cutting up a massive fish. It really was a show and a work of art! There were customers (they looked like regulars) telling the person what cuts of fish they wanted. I’m not even sure if I’ve had tuna right off the fish like this before. It must be freshhh.
I was craving seafood and sushi so naturally, we headed over to Little Tokyo to one of our favorite Asian grocery stores to see what was good. I always like strolling through the sushi aisle to see what types of seafood I’ve never had before. For example, I still need to try geoduck one day, but they only had it as a party platter. And on this particular day, we decided to try mentaiko which is Alaskan pollock roe (soooo good on rice btw).
Honestly, we didn’t buy tuna from this first tuna show we saw. Our cart was already full lol, but we made it a goal to come back. That day finally came this past weekend. I wasn’t sure what cut we were going to get, you would think I would get cuts of sashimi. But then a huge tuna collar caught our eye and it was only $30! That is a STEAL and for sure it’s going to fit in the oven haha. I was actually curious about the head which they were selling for $100!! I really would not know what to do with that huge head or how to even begin to eat it. I did find this cool video of BBQ champ Harry Soo smoke one!
We decided to keep it simple with our first giant tuna collar. Reach salted it and baked it in the oven for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It was soooo goooood, yet so simple! We ate it with rice (and also with Dungeness crabs we picked up too). It was very tender, fatty, meaty, and super flavorful eventhough all we used was salt. I am seriously so spoiled now because I don’t want to eat normal sized collar again. I feel like it’s never enough at the restaurant! But with this giant thing, it was almost like an endless buffet of collar.
We are definitely going to make this tuna show a daily thing since it happens every Saturday. We want to go early and make sure we get the tuna belly and we will most likely get another collar so we can experiment with other recipes. What other not-so-popular tuna cuts should we try?