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Jul 15, 2010 06:53 AM

Tuna Collar in the Triangle

The other night on No Reservations, Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman ate at a sushi restaurant in Columbus, OH. One dish they ate that really interested me was roasted tuna collar.

The collar is the rear of the head, forward of the gills. Locally, you can find yellowtail collar at Waraji. Yellowtail is not a tuna. As tuna are caught off NC, I'm hoping to find it and cook it at. I'd hope to find it fresh or frozen.

I've reached out to the two local Community Supported Fisheries and Earp's. I'll post what I find out here. In the meantime, if anyone has seen tuna collar, please post here.

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  1. Have you tried talking to the Southport Seafood folks? I think they might be able to help you out. Here's an Indyweek story that could be of help.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbqme

      Thanks for the tip, bbqme. I'm checking it out. I love cooking weird/budget cuts at home.

    2. I saw that episode too, and like you was intrigued. Please let us know what you find. I'd love to try it.

      9 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        Still no luck finding tuna collar in the Triangle. We went to Haru tonight and got salmon collar, It was correctly cooked and our server even brought the plate back to me, pointing out that I'd missed a nice hidden morsel. The sushi was excellent, too, especially the specials, fluke, king makeral and Spanish makeral. Our server pointed out what was especially good and marked them on our card, which I appreciated.

        1. re: Tom from Raleigh

          Wish we could get sushi, and sushi service, like that over on this side of the triangle. So how was the salmon collar in particular?

          1. re: LulusMom


            I think there's a lot more good sushi on your side of the area than mine. In particular, Kurama in Durham is a spot you should try for sushi and Japanese food. I've eaten yellowtail collar there before. The key is to call a few days ahead and ask. The Japanese word for collar is "kama". If the person who answers the phone says No, ask if they'll check with the sushi chefs.

            Salmon collar, like yellowtail collar, was grilled and served on a plate as a few large pieces. We were expected to use chopsticks to extract the meat. Some pieces were obvious, others, like the bit under the fin were less so. There's some meat and a good amount of skin. The meat was oily and rich and the skin had a nice crispy char to it. It tasted just like salmon but was a bit more rich, moist and oily. That's how I like my salmon, so I was quite happy.

            1. re: Tom from Raleigh

              Thanks so much for the info. Looks like I'll need to get to Kurama.

            2. re: LulusMom

              I spoke to the nice folks at Yamazushi in Durham. They said they can get tuna collar, if I give them a few days notice. I'll post back when it's in.

              Their website is:

              1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                Are they just procuring some for you to take home or will they be making something in-house?

                Yamazushi - I love that place.

                1. re: dinersaurus

                  They're preparing it and we're eating it there. I'm not if they'll be featuring tuna collar as a special or not. They were able to get it with 2 days notice, so it seems like its not too hard to get.

                  We're excited to try Yamazushi. We're always on the hunt for authentic Japanese food.

                  1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                    I hope you enjoy it then. I can't speak for their sushi as I've only sampled a little bit there, but I've liked their other dishes, especially the Japanese "pancake."

                    Please let us know if they do a special on the tuna collar. I'm anxious to try it.

                    1. re: dinersaurus

                      I tried a number of dishes, ie sushi, grilled fish, ramen and yakisoba. Yamazushi did not impress.

        2. Tom, next time you're at the coast (if you head that way much) stop by any of the popular sportfishing docks. Catch them late in the afternoon when the mates are cleaning fish for the charter trips. Ask them if they have any tuna and tell 'em you want the heads. They don't keep them anyway and probably don't mind giving you whatever they have. Take a cooler and be prepared to do a little butchering. Besides the collar you can go after some cheek you can whittle out the big chunks of meat that go up into the head.

          Summer isn't a good time for tuna on the Carolina coast, but fall (and spring) should bring you some luck scoring those free heads.

          Best of luck.

          1 Reply