Monday, April 17, 2006

Tuna experiment

C says:

After our February meat month, A and I decided to try and detox a little by trying to have more fish instead. This led to some comparison shopping to find good fresh tuna to make tuna sashimi/carpaccio. I didn’t do a particularly comprehensive experiment, and left out places like Isetan supermarket and Cold Storage at Takashimaya, because their prices were ridiculously higher than even the Japanese speciality supermarkets. At Isetan it was $99 per kg, and it was going for $118 per kg at Taka.

(I made the same dish with all of them so I could judge them on a level playing field – marinated the fish with soy sauce for a couple of hours, then seared it on a hot pan so the inside remained rare.)

The two fish markets I went to were: Sakuraya Fish Market and Kuriya Fish Market. Sakuraya is at Ginza Plaza, and they recently also opened another branch at Parkway Parade (another grudging notch in the East side’s belt…). The tuna is $80 per kg here, and the quality wasn’t too bad. The fish tended to flake a little though, even before cooking, and the grain wasn’t very fine (if you can call it ‘grain’, like you do with meat).

The tuna at Kuriya Fish Market, at Great World City, was far superior. Already at first glance it was a deep red, and after cooking it was much finer and sweeter. It was so flavourful that the carpaccio tasted almost like a rare steak. Not that expensive either, in comparison with Sakuraya - $88 per kg.

Surprisingly, Carrefour at Plaza Sing sells raw tuna fillets as well, at a fraction of the price - $39.90 per kg. Of course, you get what you pay for, and at that price it’s definitely not sashimi quality. It can be eaten raw, but it flakes a great deal so getting it to maintain its shape after slicing it is quite a problem. But if you want to prepare a seared tuna steak rather than sashimi/carpaccio, the Carrefour one is more than adequate.

A says:

The tuna we got at Kuriya was even better than the one they served at the restaurant. I’m singing the praises for Kuriya and I’m singing them in tuna! *groan*

Btw, C forgot to add that you can forget about getting good fillets from the market.


atetoomuch said...

C says:

(Ok, lest A complains that I’m being lax in my posting) Yes, I also decided to compare salmon and cod fillets from Ghim Moh market vs those from Carrefour. Prices were pretty much the same, market maybe slightly cheaper but not materially so, so any comparisons were pretty much on quality.

I must say this is one case where the market really falls short. For one thing, it’s not easy getting salmon and cod at the market, particularly cod. Only managed to find it at one stall. And the fishmonger’s idea of fillets is cutting a cross-section of salmon/cod steak, then halving it to yield 2 ‘fillets’. Needless to say, the little bones and things that would’ve generally been removed in a proper filleting process were still present and I got increasingly frustrated trying to debone them before cooking.

Conclusion? For ‘imported’ fish, stick to pretty little portions that have been nicely descaled, filleted and packaged for you at the supermarket.

atetoomuch said...

A says:

C will beat me if i forget to add that she makes delicious fish.