Why Midtown East’s Nare Imports Fish From Japan To New York City
With all of the emphasis at New York City restaurants on “locally sourcing” meat to produce and everything in between, there has to be a really good reason to go through the trouble of importing fish from Japan. There are several good reasons, in fact, and Nare Sushi’s owner, Zhe Hu, explains why it’s worth the effort.
The Daily Meal: Why did you decide to import fish from Japan?
Zhe Hu: Our concept is authentic Japanese food, so we want to replicate the Japanese dining experience as much as possible. We believe the Japanese fish is an important part of the omakase experience because that is what customers have in Japan. Also, we’re logistically able to receive the fish quickly, so we can serve it when it is at its peak freshness. Every week, we import four to five kinds of fish or seafood, like squid and sea urchin, from Japan, and we also have king salmon from New Zealand, which we use at the sushi bar and in the kitchen for the grilled king salmon.
What is the process of importing fish like?
We get the special Japanese fish from a premier Japanese vendor from the famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, who ensures they are purchasing is the very best fish available. Following safety and quality inspections, the fish is loaded into special refrigerated trucks and arrives to the restaurant within 24 hours.
Why not just use fish from American purveyors?
We do have fish from local vendors, like oysters from the West Coast, tuna from Boston, fluke from Long Island, and uni from Maine. But, the special Japanese fish is only available from our Japanese vendor. That includes aji (horse mackerel), iwashi (sardines), kamasu (baracuda), kohada (gizzard shad), shima aji (stripped jack fish), sayori (halfbeak), sumi ika (squid), [and] kinmedai (golden eye snapper).
So it’s definitely worth the trouble of flying in fish from another continent?
Yes, because we are able to provide guests with some of the freshest specialty fish in the world.
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