What Is Toro And How To Make Toro Sushi? - Easy Homemade Sushi (2023)

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What Is Toro And How To Make Toro Sushi? - Easy Homemade Sushi (1)

I am such a great fan of spicy tuna sushithat I can have it any time of the day, but the difference in tastes oftenbewildered me. It was then I discovered from a sushi chef that not all cuts oftuna are the same. They differ in looks, taste, flavor, quality, and of courseprice.

Today I will tell you what is toro and how to make toro sushi. Toro (pronounced as toh-roh) is the Japanese term used to indicate the fatty belly part of bluefin tuna fish, which is considered as a highly prized item in the menu.

The belly section of tuna is embedded withfat, hence toro feels buttery in the mouth and often has a marbled appearance.As this area of tuna fish (also known as maguro or hon-maguro in Japanese) ishuge, it is often broken down into two subtypes – Otoro (oh-toh-roh) andChutoro (choo-toh-roh).

You may find Otoro pieces in the supermarket labeled as o-toro and it is considered as the fattest section of the bluefin tuna. It is taken from the underside of the belly. The texture is so rich and buttery that it almost melts inside the mouth and feels like it could fall apart any moment.

Chutoro may be labeled as chu-toro in thegrocery stores or supermarket. These pieces are taken from the belly portionalong the sides of the fish, located between the otoro and akami. Healthconscious sushi eaters often prefer this variety of tuna as it has a fattytexture but not as much as otoro.

(Video) How to make Toro Sushi by Michelin Sushi Chef


  • 1 What Are The Other Portions Of Tuna Flesh Called?
  • 2 WhatDoes Toro Taste And Look Like
  • 3 ToroNigiri Sushi
  • 4 NegitoroSushi Recipe
  • 5 ToroGreen Onion Hand Sushi Rolls (Temaki)
  • 6 What’sThe Right Method To Thaw Sushi-Grade Bluefin Tuna (Toro)
  • 7 RelatedQuestions
    • 7.1 Why is toro sushi so expensive?
    • 7.2 How much does Toro cost
    • 7.3 Does toro sushi have more mercury thannormal tuna sushi?
    • 7.4 How is toro processed and shipped?
    • 7.5 What are the other species of tuna?
    • 7.6 How long can you store raw toro
    • 7.7 Can I store toro sushi in the refrigerator?

What Are The Other Portions Of Tuna Flesh Called?

When you order tuna sushi in a restaurant,what you usually get is the akami (ah-kah-me). It is the leaner meat derivedfrom the sides of the fish, not belly area.

It does not have a lot of fat content andthe texture is less buttery when compared to otoro or chutoro. As a result, the price of sushi that containsakami is way less than the exclusive otoro sushi.

The highest quality akami is also known asSenaka, the medium quality is called sekami, while the lowest quality akami isoften known as seshimo. If you are a fanof nigiri sushi, you should not miss the opportunity of enjoying it with themost exclusive cuts of bluefin tuna fish or toro maguro.

You may also enjoy the delicacy at home.Later in the article, I will show you how to make nigiri sushi using toro athome.

WhatDoes Toro Taste And Look Like

Toro has a unique taste that impresses thetastebuds of most people who sample it and fall in love in their firstexperience. The fantastic sirloin feel of bluefin tuna blends beautifully with thefatty tissue from the belly area to form a rich and creamy texture that meltsinside the mouth.

Toro is frequently used for making nigirisushi in upscale sushi bars and restaurants for its exclusive combination andsophisticated taste. It may also be used to prepare seared tuna that has a richtexture and delectable taste.

If you haven’t tasted Otoro before then letme tell you that it almost feels like a stick of butter inside the mouth. As afirst-time tuna belly meat eater, I would recommend that you first try the lessoverwhelming Chutoro which also has high-fat content but more red meat thanOtoro.

The exclusive toro typically has a soft pink hue with clearly visible white lines due to fatty deposits. This marbled texture of the flesh is responsible for the distinct oily and creamy taste. To enjoy toro at its optimal flavor, it should always be consumed when it’s fresh.

For more information about tuna and How to Cut Tuna Loin for Sushi ( 金枪鱼寿司):

ToroNigiri Sushi

Toro sushi is a prized item on the menu andmost sushi restaurants sear the flesh by using a blow torch before using it insushi. This helps in bringing out the umami flavors that are highly soughtafter by sushi eaters. The seared tuna fish feels more like a piece of marbledsteak than fish.

What you will need:

(Video) Making Sushi w/ Chef Tomu - BLUE FIN TUNA / TORO

  • Cooked short grain sushi rice
  • Sushi-grade toro (fatty tuna)
  • Soy sauce
  • wasabi
  • Yuzu (lemon)
  • Pickled ginger (gari)


First, prepare perfectly cooked and seasoned sushi rice. To find detailed instructions for making sushi rice, check this article

Remove the skin of toro and trim the piece.Then you need to slice the toro and due to its high-fat content, we recommendusing thin slices

Scrape off the meat on the skin and you usethem for other delicacies.

Now, use a kitchen blow torch like this to sear the toro pieces and bring out the rich and delicious umami flavors.

What Is Toro And How To Make Toro Sushi? - Easy Homemade Sushi (2)

Take a golfball size of sushi rice and use your right plam and fingers of your left hand to give an oval shape. Press gently using your thumb and middle finger to make a slight depression at the bottom and a hump on the top.

Place the seared toro over the bed of sushi rice and squeeze lemon on it to enhance the flavors. Press gently to ensure that the toro piece sits well on top of the rice bed.

Serve the nigiri sushi with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Learn how to make pickled ginger (gari) here.

NegitoroSushi Recipe

What you will need

  • Cooked and seasoned sushi rice
  • 8 ounces Otoro, minced to forma paste
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions finely minced
  • Nori sheet


Use short grain rice to cook sushi rice in a cooker or pot following the directions. When the rice cools, season it with vinegar, salt, and sugar. Read this article for step-by-step instructions.

Take a medium sized bowl and mix mincedtoro flesh with 3/4 of the finely chopped scallions. Add toasted sesame seedsto the mixture and stir well.

Keep a small bowl of water mixed with a fewdrops of vinegar o dip your fingers while making sushi to prevent the rice fromsticking.

What Is Toro And How To Make Toro Sushi? - Easy Homemade Sushi (3)
(Video) How to make SUSHI at Home | Negitoro Sushi (Tuna & Salmon)

Now, lay the bamboo mat like this on a plain working surface and keep the nori sheet on it, shiny side down. Moisten your fingers and take a medium ball of rice. Flatten it over the nori sheet, pressing gently to make a homogenous layer.

Take a spoonful of the negitoro mix and arrange it on the edge of the rice, place it closer to you from one end.

Lift the bamboo mat from one side and startrolling, keeping the filling intact to form a compact roll. Don’t squeeze toomuch or the fillings won’t stay in their place.

When you reach the end of the Nori sheet,give one tight hug with the bamboo mat to give your roll a slightly squareshape.

Take a sharp Japanese sushi knife and cut the roll into two from the midpoint, then cut each half into two pieces and further into two more pieces to have 8 segments in total.

ToroGreen Onion Hand Sushi Rolls (Temaki)

Tuna fish and green onion make a greatcombination. Hence for this temaki or hand roll sushi, I use this classiccombination. With fatty tuna or toro, you can take this temaki sushi to adifferent level altogether. Green onions help in enhancing the taste as well asadding to the texture.

What you will need:

  • 1⁄2 sheet Nori
  • Cooked and seasoned Sushi Rice
  • Wasabi paste
  • 1 strip fatty tuna or torofinely chopped
  • 1 tbsp green onion thinlysliced
  • 2 cups of water


Cook sushi rice and season it with vinegar, sugar, and salt following the instructions mentioned here.

Take half Nori sheet and place it on theworking surface

What Is Toro And How To Make Toro Sushi? - Easy Homemade Sushi (4)

Take a small spoonful of rice and spread iton one corner of the seaweed , leaving 2/3 of the Nori empty

Add a few chopped pieces of toro over thesushi rice, close to the top

Now, sprinkle some finely sliced greenonions over toro

Roll the Nori sheet to make a cone shapeand seal the edges using a few grains of rice

(Video) How to make popular Sushi #2 Toro by Michelin Sushi Chef

Pro tips

  • Make sure you roll the Norisnugly while making the hand roll, but be careful to not break the Nori sheet.
  • You must ensure that our handsare dry before you start making a temaki roll to ensure that the nori remainscrisp.
  • Serve toro temaki or hand rollsimmediately after making them or else they may turn soggy.

What’sThe Right Method To Thaw Sushi-Grade Bluefin Tuna (Toro)

You can buy frozen sushi-grade Bluefin Tunaor toro from the grocery store but you need to take proper care while thawingit. First, you need to remove the plastic packaging as the product isvacuum-packed to keep it fresh.

Take a bowl and add lukewarm water with a temperature not more than 95° F. Now take some salt in a teaspoon and add to water. The ratio should be 1 tsp salt for one liter of water.

Take the toro fillet out of the packagingand hold it under running tap water to rinse it thoroughly and then immerseinto the salt water solution.

Let the toro fillet sit in the warm waterfor about 3-5 minutes. Now, remove the fillet and rinse in cold water to removeany salt that may impact its original flavor.

Take a thin cheesecloth or sponge, wrap thefilet in it to remove excess moisture. Now cover the toro pieces in acheesecloth or dry sponge before wrapping it in cling film.

Make sure you do not wrap the toro tootightly because the fish needs to breathe. Now, store the fillet inside therefrigerator for 3-5 hours to let it breathe.


Why is toro sushi so expensive?

Toro is the most delicious and fatty partof tuna hence it’s rare and exclusive. Less than 1% of tuna flesh iscategorized as toro. You won’t find many sushi restaurants serve toro sushi andthose who do, the price is usually high.

How much does Toro cost

The price may vary depending upon thequality of toro, but roughly it will be around $8 to $15 per piece. The mediumfatty toro or chutoro may be slightly less expensive than otoro.

Does toro sushi have more mercury thannormal tuna sushi?

The report in this white paper says that there is less mercury in fatty tissues when compared to the fillet containing less fat. As toro comes from the bluefin tuna fish that lives longer than 15 years, the mercury levels in the fish may be higher than other varieties.

How is toro processed and shipped?

The high-grade toro comes from the fattybelly portion of tuna that has been meticulously processed to ensure that theflesh does not get bruised or harmed. When raw tuna arrives at the marketplace,a special instrument is used to sample the tissues for consistency and flavorprior to being valued.

What are the other species of tuna?

While different varieties of tuna can bederived from fish species such as bigeye and yellowtail, the finest quality ofotoro is derived from bluefin tuna.

How long can you store raw toro

After raw toro is purchased it may be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days, however, it should be discarded if left outside at room temperature for more than 2 hours. You can extend the shelf life of toro by freezing it wrapped in an air-tight bag.

Can I store toro sushi in the refrigerator?

You may store toro sushi in therefrigerator for 24 hours but the sushi rice will turn bland and seaweed willbecome soggy. Hence, it is best to eat sushi immediately to enjoy the optimumflavors.


What is toro in sushi? ›

Toro is the term for the fatty part of the tuna, found in the belly portion of the fish. Especially prized by sushi chefs and sushi aficionados, toro presents pink to white in color with a rich, buttery taste. Because of its high fat content and distinctive flavor, toro is always best enjoyed raw.

What is toro sushi made of? ›

Toro comes from the fatty underbelly of the tuna, divided into grades based on the marbling of the meat. Otoro is the most valuable toro, from the underside of the fish close to the head.

What is toro roll? ›

Tuna, avocado and wasabi mayonnaise topped with seared tuna belly, sweet soy sauce and mayonnaise.

What are the 3 main ingredients in sushi? ›

Sushi at its core is made with three simple ingredients: raw fish, a nori sheet, and sushi rice.

How do you make homemade sushi step by step? ›

How to Make a Sushi Roll
  1. Prepare the Japanese sushi rice. ...
  2. Cover bamboo mat with plastic wrap.
  3. Cut nori sheet in half. ...
  4. Flip the nori over (rice side facing down). ...
  5. Grab the nori and the rolling mat. ...
  6. Transfer to a cutting board. ...
  7. Serve immediately with wasabi and pickled ginger.
Jun 17, 2020

Is toro the same as tuna? ›

Most commonly used in sushi, Toro (or Otoro as the Japanese refer to it) may be mistaken as a species of tuna, but it's actually the hard-to-come-by cut of tuna: the belly cut. A true delicacy, the belly cut is marbled similar to your favorite steak giving it lots of flavor!

Is toro a tuna or salmon? ›

Akami is the leaner meat from the sides of the fish. If you ask for 'Maguro' at a restaurant, or order any kind of tuna roll or sushi without requesting 'toro,' you will get this cut. Toro is the term for the fatty part of the tuna, found in the belly portion of the fish.

What part of the cow is toro? ›

Often used for ground beef and pastrami, toro steaks come from the navel of a cow. Toro got its name from the fact that many sushi chefs use it (it's the fatty part of a tuna's belly). This cut often pairs well with Asian-inspired flavor profiles, especially when barbecued.

Does toro melt in your mouth? ›

“Toro” is a delicacy cut of the tuna, and literally means “to melt”. This marbling comes from the under belly of the tuna, offering the fattiest and most excellent taste that melts in your mouth.

Is tuna toro healthy? ›

Although toro is high in fat content, it is much healthier than fatty meats because it is a rich source of omega-3 oils like DHA and EPA, so by consuming it you can decrease neutral fat and blood clots in your blood. Toro fat can also mitigate the risks of high-blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and dyslipidemia.

Is toro cooked? ›

There are many ways to serve toro, however we cannot recommend you eat it raw. The quality of the Bluefin Tuna is the best quality available, but we still recommend you cook it thorougly before consuming. The USDA recommends you cook it to an internal temperatures of 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is toro a salmon belly? ›

Toro is the name of the part near the head, mostly on the belly side. In the same way, there is no fish called “toro salmon”. Just like tuna, “toro” refers to the fatty part on the belly side of the salmon. It is also called “harasu” in Japanese.

What does toro mean in Japanese? ›

toro (plural toros or toro) A traditional Japanese lantern.

What is Toro salmon? ›

1. Toro salmon. Meaning "melt" in Japanese, the toro cut of a fish refers to the soft, fatty belly section and tends to be prized in sushi restaurants everywhere. Fatty and rich in flavor, served raw or slightly grilled, this cut of salmon has an extremely tender texture.

What should I put in my homemade sushi? ›

homemade sushi staples:
  1. sushi rice (Nishiki is my brand of choice!)
  2. a bamboo mat (example)
  3. plastic wrap.
  4. nori (seaweed sheets)
  5. low-sodium soy sauce.
  6. toasted sesame seeds and/or chia seeds.
  7. sriracha chili sauce.
  8. wasabi + pickled ginger (optional but yummy!)
Oct 22, 2012

What should I put in my sushi? ›

9 Popular Filling And Topping For Sushi
  1. Cucumber. ...
  2. Fried egg. ...
  3. Salmon and avocado. ...
  4. Egg and pickle cucumber. ...
  5. Pickle seaweed. ...
  6. Beef and red onion. ...
  7. Pulled pork with coleslaw. ...
  8. Fish roe and cucumber.

What kind of rice is used for sushi? ›

The best kind of rice to use for sushi is short-grain Japanese rice, known as japonica, or shari. If you can't source that kind of white sushi rice, then long-grain California white rice is a passable substitute. Do not use the kinds of rice that you would use for a curry or burrito, though.

Does toro taste fishy? ›

Toro Hamachi has a fatty, juicy taste that is not fish at all but reminds distinct. Its smooth texture can be compared closest to the Toro in Tuna.

What makes toro so good? ›

Why Toro is So Valuable: Rare and Rich in Nutrients. The main reason why Toro is so expensive is because it is so rare. Toro refers to the fatty part of the tuna's belly, and the fattiest part is called Otoro, while the most fatty part is called tuna.

Is sushi good for you? ›

The bottom line is that, yes, sushi is healthy. It contains high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids from fish, plus a great combination of vitamins and minerals. White rice provides carbs for energy, and won't raise your blood sugar too high because it's combined with fat and protein.

Why is toro called toro? ›

1914: The Toro Motor Company is founded on July 10, 1914 to build engines for the #1 brand of farm tractors in the United States – The Bull Tractor Company. The name “Toro” is chosen because of the company's association with Bull.

Is toro a yellowtail? ›

Toro Hamachi is a farm raised Yellowtail that is cared for as humanly as possible with a total life-cycle control from farm to table. With total life-cycle control, Toro Hamachi has about 30% fat content which doubles a normal Yellowtail and is ranked in Japan as a high quality Yellowtail.

What is tuna called in sushi? ›

In Japanese, tuna is called “Maguro” which is derived from the word “Meguro” meaning black eyes. The most popular tuna is Pacific bluefin tuna, the largest of the tuna species!

What does Otoro taste like? ›

Otoro is the belly cut the Bluefin Tuna featuring intense fat marbling resulting in a rich, melt-in-your-mouth buttery flavor and tenderness not found with any other fish. With each bite your palate is pleased with waves of full and rich umami flavor, complemented by a soft and buttery texture.

How do you eat Toro tuna? ›

I highly recommend serving Otoro with sushi rice because Otoro can be too fatty to eat on its own. For Otoro, a very popular way for sushi restaurants to serve is slightly seared (Aburi, 炙り). Simply use a blow torch to lightly sear Otoro pieces to bring out the latent flavors and umami.

What season is toro? ›

In the summer, abalone, horse mackerel and the simple taste of sea bass highlight menus. Come winter, diners look eagerly to savoring fat-rich chu-toro and o-toro.

What is the healthiest sushi roll? ›

  1. Salmon Avocado Roll. Think of a more iconic duo than salmon and avocado. ...
  2. Naruto rolls. One of the biggest culprits in adding extra calories to sushi rolls is the rice. ...
  3. Tuna Roll. ...
  4. White fish. ...
  5. Various types of sashimi. ...
  6. Mackerel Roll. ...
  7. Substitute white rice for black or brown. ...
  8. Rainbow Roll.
Jul 7, 2017

Is sushi good for you to lose weight? ›

It is excellent for a weight loss diet, as long as the sushi does not contain mayo, glazes, sauces, or breading. If your sushi rolls come slathered in thick batter, eel sauce and spicy mayo, they are the reason you can go off your healthy diet. Opting for sushi with too much oil is not in your best interest.

How do you prepare tuna for sushi? ›

To cut tuna for nigiri, you need to cut against the grain, usually 30-degree angle or so, and about 1/4" or so thick. The most difficult part of the cutting is to determine how thick/thin to cut, as this will dramatically affect how your nigiri taste. In general, tuna tastes good when cut thick.

What is the difference between toro and Otoro? ›

Toro refers to the fatty part of the tuna's belly, and the fattiest part is called Otoro, while the most fatty part is called tuna. The next most common part is called Chutoro. Akami, which is often seen in supermarkets, is the part with almost no fat.


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4. I Turned A $3,000 Tuna Into Sushi
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5. Pierre and Brendon Learn How To Make Sushi
(Scuderia AlphaTauri)
6. How to Sear Toro Sushi!
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