Tuna & Salmon Sashimi a la Marketman

I am very fond of good tuna (maguro) sashimi. Even middling tuna sashimi is fine, and that is mostly what you get at mid-priced Japanese restaurants around here. A lot of it has been pre-portioned, pre-cut, frozen and defrosted out of little vacuum packs. Occasionally, I get a real hankering and head to Seaside market in Baclaran to obtain a nice hunk of tuna.

At roughly PHP400-450 a kilo, and if you are lucky timing wise, you can score a respectable piece of fresh tuna (though probably previously frozen for part of its journey from the sea to airport to market) without much effort. The freezing is apparently NECESSARY for sashimi grade tuna, possibly to kill off any cooties in raw fish. Try and find a deep red piece, with as few veins? as possible.

The vendors are usually happy to pre-slice this into portions that require minimal fuss before you serve it at home. But I just had this kilo piece cleaned and left whole.

Back at home, I just rinsed this quickly with water (probably a no-no for experts) and dried the surface with paper towels before slicing thinly and serving with some sashimi sauce and wasabi. Yum. But if you want to do something else with it, why not try these recipes I posted before:

Tuna Tartare a la Eric Ripert
Tuna Carpaccio Experiments
Half cooked Tuna on a bed of Vegetables a la Eric Ripert
Tuna in Olive Oil from Scratch

While my tuna was being prepared, I watched as several salmon were broken down and prepped. So I ended up buying a kilo of salmon as well. I thought the tuna was better, but the salmon wasn’t bad. Maybe it’s better to cook the salmon considering how far away from home it probably is…

More on the seaside market in Baclaran soon…

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32 Responses

  1. Hey there MM ! Glad I could again read your post at home without it redirecting me to some porn site :P I stopped reading your post around Sept I guess , the last time was your Vancouver eyeball post :( I had to go to the library to lurked at your site :D

  2. I recently talked to a frozen tuna supplier (they sell their product in the SM supermarkets) and they said it’s been getting a lot harder getting yellowfin tuna. Overfishing seems to be the culprit. There’s even a sardine shortage that’s caused the government to ban sardine fishing for 3 months. I hope we don’t see the day when the only fish we eat are farmed tilapia, dory and bangus.

    I think it better to get salmon sashimi from the larger fish. Salmon are usually classified as 3-4, 5-6, and 6-7 kilos. The larger salmon usually have fattier meat which I find generally better for all uses.

  3. MM, whenever we do tuna sashimi or kinilaw or sushi, we cut a thin slice off all the exposed sides to make sure the cooties from the market don’t hitch a ride onto the platter.

    deep red is good, but we also have (although it is getting harder and harder to find these days) the really premium tuna (either toro/bluefin, or “tombo/albacore”) and it is pale pink, very fatty and super delicious. it is so fatty that it causes flare-ups on the grill.

  4. Hey, MM! I’m a big fan of maguro sashimi as well (a plate of sashimi, wasabi, soy sauce, and a hot bowl of rice and I’m good to go), and I’m glad you did a post on this one. Hope to read your post on the seaside market in Baclaran soon!

  5. I’ve been having a kinilaw craving for the longest time and this post made me want to go to Baclaran right now if it wasn’t so far.

  6. Watch out for the mercury, the worms (anisakiasis) and the radiation (Fukushima)!
    Would the butchers/vendors in Baclaran know which waters the fish were fished from?

  7. Hey MM! I saw an interesting spread in Business World regarding Salmon the other day.

    A company with fisheries in General Santos say that they have facilities where they raise Salmon (I am not sure what variety though). It didn’t offer much more info aside from that, because it seemed more like a paid advertisement more than anything else. Since you briefly brought up Salmon in this entry, I just thought I’d let you know just in case it may be new to you, as it is to me.

    Anyway, hope you’re enjoying the tail-end of the weekend. Cheers and Thanks again for everything!

  8. already dreaming of eating those right there in the market! bring own sauce, wasabi, and japanese mayo …

  9. Yes as Faust said – tuna from GenSan is the yummiest I’ve had. A couple of my uncles – Mom’s cousins – own fishing businesses in Davao and GenSan. They export to Europe, Japan, and the States. Try finding the Santa Cruz or Pacific Seas labels. :) Awesome seafood for me whenever I go home…hehe.

  10. In costco, if you know when the tuna is delivered you can also get quality grade sashimi. They come in from GenSan or Vietnam. The key in buying is to make sure that there is no “rainbow shine” on the meat. If it has the shine bacteria has already started and not a good idea to eat it raw. Salmon is harder to source since they are frozen for a long time. I only like the taste of wild salmon.

    Making hawaiian poke or churashi are good alternatives for the extra tuna. Haay too hard to stay on a diet.

  11. Marketman, I think the kill-kooties-by-freezing trick only applies to salmon. Good thing you didn’t try it at home; that is, unless your freezer can get down to 60 below or some ridiculously low number. That tuna loin looks perfect for sashimi though. Next time, wrap the tuna blocks in cheese cloth and dredge it all around with sea salt. Put those in the fridge on top of a rack and leave them there for at least 20 minutes — but not more than an hour, i’ve found out by experience. Doing this is especially useful for tuna that has not been bled properly after it was caught.

    Again, that loin you have pictured looks mighty tasty. I only know of yellowfin being caught around Philippine waters, but that looks like big eye, my favorite for sashimi. Did you get to keep the head? perfect for making fish stock (with a little work.)

  12. I’m a bigger fan of salmon than tuna and it’s such a shame that I like more the fish that isn’t local to our country hence I usually end up getting defrosted salmon sashimi.
    I wonder if the comment about salmon being raised in Gen San is true because aren’t salmon cold water dwellers and the Pacific species can only be found in Canada, US, Japan, Russia, Korea, etc, basically not in tropical waters.

  13. My bad MM. I re-read the article in Business World and the company only processes the King Salmon, they do not raise them. Just wanted to clarify that. Oops!

  14. chrisY, salmon farm in gensan? i don’t know how they do it, but i’ve seen packs of “salmon tails” (which looked like fins rather than tails) sold frozen in some shops. also, i saw some fresh-looking salmon bellies at a local supermarket (davao) and the guy said it was from gensan, when i told him that was not possible, he said, “well then, palawan!” i bought half a kilo for sinigang and they were good and fresh-tasting. hmmm..the plot thickens…

  15. Hmm, those are rather pale specimens of salmon in the photo, likely farmed fish. Nothing like the deep pinks you a good wild sockeye. Farmed salmon is ok if you cook it say teriyaki style or some other strong tasting sauce, but nothing will beat the taste of a wild fish when done with a simple brine then thrown on a blisteringly hot grill for a nice medium rare fish.

    Had a wonderful toro last week but I couldn’t remember the species of tuna, bluefin sashimi was $8/piece (!!) so we stayed away from that one.

  16. Stewart…by the looks of the fish…it could be King Salmon or Chinooks as we call it here. As such, the color is right on the dot as King or Chinooks are more on the orangey-side whether they are the Atlantic farmed or wild Pacific Chinooks as opposed to sockeyes which are reddish-orange.

    Next time you are having Salmon sashimi, go ask the server to ask the chef if the salmon is Atlantic salmon.

    Also, here is another tip…in the summer, go directly or ask the fisherman before he heads out to the water and ask him NOT TO GUT the fish you would like to buy and keep for the winter before he stores them in his -40 below freezer. Keep the salmon frozen this way until you are ready to use it. When defrosted, the flesh is firm and translucent much like freshly caught salmon that was just out of the water a few hours. Best part is…NO FREEZER BURN even if you eat it in the spring the following year!

  17. Hi Betty,

    Yeah, I thought of King or Chinook but they looked a bit small for those. For sashimi, I always get wild sockeye. I have a friend who has a cabin up by Campbell River and I get my fill of fresh sockeye, though I’ll follow your advice and ask them not to clean it for me.



  18. I love tuna and salmon sashimi. If only we can let the yellowfin/bluefin tuna and salmon have some time to thrive in the oceans, i’d really feel less guilty eating it. In a time where we harvest everything, even in excess, it can be quite frightening what we serve and put on our plates. And as much as i’d like to buy fresh fish from the market, i can’t bear the thought of serving it as sashimi. It’s just the cutting boards that puts me off and the sanitary standards they keep. It makes me squeamish.

  19. wow MM…im a big fan sashimi! i miss my hometown( davao city). :(
    we always have sashimi on our table during dinner! since davao city is abundant w/ seafoods as well especially tuna! the most famous in davao is grilled TUNA PANGA, TUNA BELLY and TUNA tendons. and also my mom and has this discovery when we were in the market, PALIKPIK (fin) im not sure if its tuna though! BUT i tell you its very rich and yummy!! especially if you grill it and serve it hot w/ rice! hmm!!yumm!! :)
    and also i missed my mom’s kilawin (tuna kinilaw w/ strips of grilled pork belly!!)

  20. the tuna looks fresh… if you happen to be in general santos city (the tuna capital of the philippines), my hometown – the frehest catch are “unloaded” at the fishport every morning (note: very early morning)… the tuna are then “classified” based on their color, texture, etc… sad to say, the prices of tuna are not that “friendly” anymore, as the stocks compete with the demands of the united states and the european union; classified “first class” tuna are shipped to these markets, and the “second” and “third” class are what you usually see aon the market… (sad)… but, nonetheless, nothing beats a fresh sashimi and ice-cold san miguel beer!!! :)

  21. hi, as far as i know sashimi grade or class A tuna in gen san are transported/deliverd ‘chilled’ and not ‘frozen’. Those that were frozen are for canning and processing…

  22. hi po im Marcris may commercial boat kami dito sa Seatle Washington and we are able to sell our fish .,. start kami fishing for King or chinook salmon May 1, 2012 seasons open,and we do fish Albacore Tuna .. WE are trying to find our own fish Market .,marcrisguerrido@yahoo.com or 253 677 1998 .

  23. Hello,
    I just wanted to ask. What is the best time for me to go to Baclaran for the grade tuna. Thank you in advance.

  24. MAE, going midday or early afternoon should be good, as tuna is flown up from GenSan and arrives on mid to late morning flights. But you can get the tuna in the early morning as well, probably delivered the day before.

  25. hello guys

    everybody buy good salmon and sashimi as mentioned but i need the address and contact details

    i am in search for it in reasonable quantity
    so please send me details of companies shops etc. where i can buy it


  26. Love sashimi, too. Where can I buy the freshest (sashimi-grade) tuna and salmon in Metro Manila? Who is your suki?

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