What Makes Tuna Ribs Different From Other Ribs

One of the most popular cuts of meat out there, and found in many different cuisine styles, ribs are a versatile and delicious treat. They can be grilled, fried, roasted, smoked, baked, or cooked in a crock pot, Instant pot, air fryer, or sous vide. Pork and beef ribs are the most popular, and come in familiar styles like baby back ribs, spare ribs, short ribs, St. Louis-style, and country-style pork ribs. Less common are lamb ribs (or riblets) and venison ribs, which can come from animals like deer, elk, moose, or antelope, according to Smokey Grill BBQ.

Ribs are not limited to land-based animals, however. Fish also have ribs, and fish ribs are becoming an increasingly sought-after delicacy. One example is Pacu fish ribs, which come from the large and meaty relative to the piranha, found in the Amazon. It has appeared on the menu in restaurants in New York and Chicago, and can be enjoyed grilled, baked, fried, or sautéed, explains Food Republic. Meanwhile, Buffalo ribs, which come from the common freshwater Buffalo fish, have been a staple in seafood shacks in Arkansas for nearly a century, where it is usually served deep-fried, reports Atlas Obscura. Then there are tuna ribs, which are a little different from both their aquatic and land-based counterparts.

Tuna ribs can be enjoyed raw

At Mifune restaurant in New York City, an entire slab of tuna ribs, known in Japanese as maguro nakaochi, is served raw (via New York Post). The dish comes with seashells that diners use to scrape out the tuna flesh between the ribs, as well as nori seaweed and rice to make handrolls with, just like it's done in izakayas in Japan.

At Kanoyama in New York's East Village, which has been serving up tuna ribs for more than a decade, diners lucky enough to be able to order the off-menu special dish are given spoons instead of seashells for scraping. Once you are done scraping off all the tuna flesh, you have the option to have the bones grilled. According to The Daily Meal, the grilled tuna bones turn into "something akin to tuna jerky with crackly skin."​​ At Nobu Tokyo, tuna ribs are served with caviar, truffle, and parmesan.

Besides making for an interactive meal, nakaochi tuna is commonly used to make sushi rolls or as a topping on rice bowls. Although usually served raw, tuna ribs can also be enjoyed grilled for those who prefer their fish, ribs and all, cooked.