How Nobu Matsuhisa Picks The Best Fish For Sushi - Exclusive

Nobu smiling
Nobu smiling - Atlantis Paradise Island

Nobu Matsuhisa is an incredibly influential chef who has brought upscale Japanese food all over the world with his eponymous restaurant group, which operates businesses on five continents. His empire began in the late 1980s with a single sushi bar in Los Angeles. His standout sushi soon attracted celebrity customers, including Robert De Niro, who partnered with Matsuhisa and helped him expand to the East Coast, paving the way for the Nobu brand to become the titan it is today.

While Matsuhisa's most famous and imitated dish is probably his miso-marinated black cod, his reputation was built on the back of exemplary sushi. Tasting Table caught up with Matsuhisa in an exclusive interview as he prepared for the Nassau Paradise Island Wine & Food Festival. We asked him how to find the best fish for making sushi at home, and he said it was all a matter of freshness and quality ingredients. He also revealed his personal favorite sushi fish, saying "Yellowfin tuna is my favorite fish. It is very tasty and a good quality fish, especially for sashimi dishes." If you start by sourcing some fresh yellowfin, you have a chance to make excellent sushi and sashimi at home.

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

Selecting The Best Toro

Otoro sushi
Otoro sushi - Sugrit Jiranarak/Shutterstock

Of course, yellowfin isn't the only option out there. Matsuhisa also had tips for choosing the best toro, which is important, because this sushi fish is expensive — if you're shelling out big bucks for toro, you want to make sure it's really good. Toro is the fatty meat of a bluefin tuna. It's cut from the belly of the fish and comes in multiple grades, with Otoro being the richest in flavor and most expensive. Per Matsuhisa, the first thing you should check when presented with a piece of toro is the texture. "Good quality toro should have a soft and smooth texture. Should not feel too hard and it has to be soft, as well as be nice and fatty," he explains. Visual cues are almost as crucial: "Toro has a very distinct deep red color. The deeper the red the better the quality."

Now you know a bit about how to evaluate good-quality sushi fish, but the best fish in the world is nothing without great technique. As Matsuhisa put it, "How much rice and how much fish to use, how much pressure applied when making the sushi, all these things need to be taken into consideration." If you're serious about you're sushi game, you might have to try to take a class with Matsuhisa so you can learn from the master himself.

The Nassau Paradise Island Wine & Food Festival runs March 13-17 at Atlantis Paradise Island. More information about Matsuhisa and his restaurants can be found here.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.