Negitoro & Aburi Tuna

Simple delicious sushi that you can make at home. Negitoro is one of my favourite and being able to make it at home is pretty sweet. It looks difficult, but all you need is some good fish, some rice, green onions, and seaweed. Check out the video recipe after the break.

Like I said, negitoro is one of my favourite kinds of sushi. I try to get whenever I go out for sushi. The strong pungent onions goes very well with the raw tuna. Especially if you get it with the fatty belly meat. That stuff is melt in your mouth good.

The first time I came across negitoro was when I was in Japan with my brother. I was in high school, and he just started University. We were on our way to visit relatives in China, and thought it would be pretty awesome if we stop in Tokyo and stay there for a couple weeks before seeing our family. We visited a ton of locations, and ate all the different kinds of food we could find. One food on our list was sushi.

The thing about sushi in Japan is that it is considered a delicacy. While you can buy cheap premade ones at convenient stores, the restaurants where they make it in front of you is definitely the way to go. So we went to a restaurant. The problem was that the food is pretty expensive, and as a high school kid I didn’t have that much money. So we thought of a solution, we would order the one of the largest combo where they will give us various types and we would divvy up the sushi pieces. One of the ones my brother had was the negitoro which he said “tasted amazing.”

So he memorized the name and when we got back home, we would always see if they had it on their menu. At first it was a bit hard to find it since we only went to all you can eats. But after a while we found a couple places and would always order it. Now it’s pretty easy to find, I think it’s actually one of the more popular sushi dishes.

The idea for this recipe came to me when my brother and I was doing a cooking thing for a close friend. We wanted to make something fancy but also something that is simple so it wouldn’t take a lot of our time. We ended with the negitoro gunkan-maki and the aburi tuna negi.

The “gunkan-maki” means battleship sushi because of it’s shape and the similarities it has the old school battleships. This particular sushi is very hand to know how to make as it can hold a lot of delicate ingredients and you don’t have to go through the crazy process of rolling it up.

I personally don’t know the meaning of “aburi.” All I know is that anything that has that tag means that one side is seared or grilled. That way you will have both the raw and cooked flavours. It’s a lot like a tuna tataki in sushi form!

I hope you try this dish, and please leave any comments down below or in the YouTube video.


180g sashimi grade tuna
1 cup sushi rice
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 green onions
2 nori sheets
soy sauce
pickled ginger

First start by making the sushi rice. If you have a rice cooker, add the water and rice in it and make it like you normally would. Make sure to check the package to see if it’s pre-washed, if it’s not rice the water through a fine sieve until the water is clear.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can use a small bot. Just bring the water to a boil, and then simmer it covered for 15 minutes. Then take the pot off the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, finely dice the green onions and prepare the tuna. There isn’t exactly a “proper” way to cut the fish. Everyone has their own methods. So the way I do it is that I try to save the nicest looking parts for the aburi tuna and use the rest of it for the negitoro. You will want about 8 nice slices. Since I’ll be mincing the fish for the negitoro no one will be able to tell.

Once you have your 8 slices, you will want to mince the leftover pieces. When you’re about 3/4 the way done chopping, add in about 1/3 cups of green onions and mince them together. Make sure not to over do it or you’ll end up with a slimy paste.

Place the fish in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Cut the nori sheets into about 1 1/2 inch strips. You will want about 8 strips or so. Grab the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar and mix them together. Once the rice is done, pour in the mixture and stir everything together.

Now the make the sushi pieces. To make the rice balls, you will want to first wet your hands. Then grab about a nice hand full of rice, something a bit smaller than a golf ball. Squeeze the rice a bit to get the general shape and then finish it by cupping your hands and using your two fingers to press against it. This will give you a nice shape. Of course if you doesn’t look right you can pinch it and press it until it looks right.

For the negitoro you will want to wrap the rice ball with the nori to make a wall and fill in the middle with the minced tuna. The aburi needs you to place the sliced fish on top, and a light press to give the fish a nice “wrapping” look. Lightly brush some soy sauce on top and use a torch to sear the top. If you don’t have a torch you can cut the pieces a little thicker and quickly sear one side on a frying pan. Just make sure you don’t over cook it!

Sushi chefs usually place wasasbi under the fish, but if you don’t like it you can always skip it. It is your sushi after all.

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