Sashimi and sushi are two of the most popular Japanese dishes both in and out of the country. However, cooking it at home can be difficult if you live in the West. It’s always important to have the right ingredients.
So where can you buy Sashimi? You can buy sashimi at Japanese fish markets and even Whole Foods. In some places, you may even be able to get sashimi delivered straight to your door in a chilled container. Wherever you purchase your sashimi, you have to be sure it’s sashimi-grade (or sushi-grade) fish.
All fish that’s not egregiously overcooked can carry some risk of parasites, so it’s often best to stick to farmed salmon or tuna. However, if you’re willing to take some risk, this blog will help ensure your sashimi is safe to eat.
Where To Buy Sashimi?
If you’re looking for where to buy sashimi, there are plenty of options both online and in stores. It should be mentioned, however, that “sushi-grade” is just a marketing term. There’s no way to guarantee that the fish will be fresh. That depends on how much you trust your grocer.
Although there are no regulations, the FDA has some guidelines for handling raw fish. It’s best to follow these guidelines to avoid catching any foodborne illnesses.
FDA guidelines for fish vary depending on what state you’re in, and it’s worth checking to see how well regulated each species is before purchasing. Since parasites are the primary concern, the fish is usually put through a freezing process before it’s put up for sale.
The FDA also has what they call a “Parasite Destruction Guarantee” that companies must follow after the fish are caught. Most species undergo this process:
- Fish are frozen and stored at -4 degrees Fahrenheit or below for seven days.
- Fish are frozen at -31 degrees Fahrenheit and stored at -4 or below for 24 hours.
- Fish are frozen at -31 degrees Fahrenheit and stored at -31 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 hours.
The freezing and low temperatures kill any parasites that may survive inside the fish when it’s first caught. To kill them properly, however, it’s important the destruction begin as early as on the boat.
The fish are caught, gutted, bled and flash frozen within 8 hours of capture.
How To Keep Sashimi-Grade Fish Fresh After Purchasing
Once you buy your sashimi-grade, or sushi-grade as it may often be called at the store, storing it properly begins on the way home. It helps to think of oneself like the fishermen who first caught it, struggling to preserve its freshness at sea.
You’re tiring to do the same thing on land as well. The key to transporting seafood without risking any foodborne illness is to keep it cold. So, it must be taken home on ice.
Usually, people who are buying fish this fresh intend to use it right away, and it’s generally recommended that you do. But whenever you plan to use it, always keep it cold. Freeze it or put it in the fridge.
If you do freeze the fish, thawing must be done slowly. It’s best to thaw the fish in the fridge, to avoid any wide swings in temperature or reaching the “temperature danger zone” of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important when preparing that you keep the area as clean as possible.
Now that you know how best to keep the fish fresh, here’s a look at some of the most popular fish that is served as sashimi.
Popular Types of Sashimi
Not only can salmon taste great raw, it’s also one of the most visually appetizing fish on the market. For those that care to have a little bit of flair on their plate, a fresh-cut piece of sashimi salmon is often what’s called for.
Chefs in restaurants will often use tuna, or Maguro. There are various different cuts available. Otoro is the most expensive slice of tuna. It’s located in the lower belly and is rich in fat – a rarity in Japan.
Chutoro is somewhat of a lower grade slice that still has a high-fat, though less than otoro. The lowest grade tuna available is akami, which is known for its dark red color.
Other fish that are commonly served as sashimi are fish that are best served as thin slices. This can include halibut, squid, octopus, mackerel and yellowtail.
Whatever kind of fish you choose, the most important thing is that it is actually sashimi-grade and not just some marketing word. Take the necessary steps to properly freeze it on the way from the store and inside your home.