Coveted Japanese Fish Buri Is Latest Addition To Michelin-Starred Chef Menus
Buri, Japan’s plump yellowtail fish, is sought after for its melt-in-your-mouth buttery flavor yet also equally rich in nutritional value
Buri, commonly known as Japanese yellowtail, is coveted in Japan as one of the most common dishes for celebrations since ancient times. While wild-caught Buri has not been easily accessible in the United States, farmed Buri has now become more widely available than ever because of recent sustainable aqua-farming technology. This advancement has allowed many renowned U.S. chefs to add Buri to their menus with mouthwatering results.
Buri is also called “Shusse-uo (promotional fish)” since the fish are given different Japanese names according to their stages of growth. In the early stage, the fish are called “Inada” and “Hamachi”, before being called Buri once it is fully grown. In Japan, the larger, plumper yellowtails have actually been popular gifts for bringing luck and success in the New Year since the 16th century.
Over 90 years, farming technology for Buri has evolved among Japanese artisans, allowing them to supply high-quality farmed yellowtail throughout the year. Their new stable process has increased the size of the fish preserve and improved pallet feeding, all while controlling and preventing disease. With these advanced technologies and artisanal efforts, farmed yellowtails are traded at even higher prices than wild-caught yellowtail.
The secret of the freshness of yellowtail imported from Japan to the United States is hidden not only in the farming technologies, but also in how Japanese artisans process and distribute the fish. They promptly and precisely process the fish, which maintains the tender meat and preserves freshness under the high sanitary standards of HACCP.
If all the flavor and freshness accolades weren’t enough, Japanese Buri is rich in nutritional value and contains abundant Omega-3 fatty acids including DHA and EPA, which are essential for brain and heart health.
Many famous and Michelin-starred chefs in New York City and Los Angeles have created dishes with Japanese Buri to start the new year off with a flourish:
Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske are the chefs of the one-Michelin-starred (and two stars from the New York Times) restaurant Contra. Their new offering is Oil Poached Japanese Buri with Radish Broth and Charred Scallions (pictured at top). The chefs mentioned how they enjoyed the fattiness and plump texture of Japanese Buri. They are using farmed Buri from Japan not only because is it a sustainable ingredient, but it is also available year-round with consistent qualities of fattiness, making it a suitable ingredient from a restaurant industry perspective.
Another NYC restaurant, Oceans specializes in creating dishes with fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients. They offer a Grilled Japanese Buri with Matsutake Mushrooms, Black Truffle, and Peking Duck Broth (above). The executive chef Andy Kitko described how he loves Buri for its meaty texture and smooth supple mouthfeel. Kitko enjoys using it in place of a high-quality steak because he can give the fish a nice char which really enhances its texture and adds a smoky flavor. Its high-fat content allows this to happen when grilled over high heat and the fish just melts in one’s mouth.
Scarpetta, an NYC restaurant with a three-star review from the Times and many locations around the world, offer Buri Confit with chickpea, caramelized alkekengi, parsley tuile, and tonnato sauce (above). The chef Jorge Espinoza mentioned how Buri is a versatile fish that can be paired with acidic, sweet, and spicy flavor profiles. Scarpetta has showcased this fish as a signature crudo since opening in 2008. With greater availability now, the culinary team experimented with cooking this fish belly in various ways and ultimately decided to sear and slow poach/confit it in olive oil to preserve the natural fattiness.
George Mendes, an executive chef at contemporary restaurant Veranda in NYC, also offers Buri Confit (above). Although Mendes varies the way he cooks Japanese Buri by slow cooking at a lower temperature with olive oil to allow the fish to keep its great characteristic of fatness, maximizing the beauty of this robust fish. Mendes uses farm-raised Japanese Buri and noted that Japanese artisans really take care of every step of the production process, and admired the distribution from Japan to the restaurants in the U.S.
To learn more about the ten famous restaurant chefs in NYC and LA who serve a specially crafted Japanese Buri dish, check out the details of a recent JFOODO campaign by visting the JFOODO website.
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