The term Sashimi-grade fish is referred to a handful of selected seafood that can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Sashimi, Sushi, Ceviche and Crudo are all common practices of preparing and eating raw fish. However, very different from one another.
Eating raw fish is often overlooked or not even considered in most parts of the world unless it’s ‘Sashimi’ or ‘Sushi’ grade and for good reason. Keep in mind not all fish can be prepared and eaten raw.
Freshly caught fish straight from the sea has to be closely monitored and regulated before being edible. So, where can you get your hands on Sashimi-grade fish?
Where to buy ‘Sashimi’ grade fish?
‘Sashimi’ grade fish can be store-bought from your local fishmonger or served and prepared by most restaurants that specialise in sashimi. If opting to purchase and prepare your own Sashimi please use a trusted fishmonger as eating raw seafood carries a certain level of risk.
Not all fish can be used for Sashimi. Commonly, salmon and tuna are the fish of choice as with other fish including surf clams, Halibut and Yellowtail.
Why does eating raw seafood carry a certain level of risk?
Parasites are the biggest problem when it comes to eating any type of raw seafood. Cod worms, Seal worms, and Tapeworms are the culprits here.
Cod worms are often found in Cod, Haddock, and Hake which is why we don’t see these types of fish served on a Sashimi menu. Seal worms often found in Salmon and Herring can be quite easily removed once we freeze these types of fish.
However, the biggest culprit out of the three is tapeworms which can be found in freshwater species of fish. Freshwater fish should be avoided for Sashimi altogether.
In saying that, there are some and I mean very few well farmed and regulated fish farms that do have fish that can be used for Sashimi and sushi. But in my personal opinion, I wouldn’t take the risk. Just do a quick google search on ‘Tapeworms’ and you’ll find out why (Warning!).
What to do before indulging in Sashimi?
The restaurant served Sashimi-grade fish go through a thorough process before it can be served onto your table. This process meets the golden standard of Sashimi grade or sushi grade fish.
However, if preparing Sashimi on your own please purchase your fish from a trusted fishmonger and follow the guidelines released by the FDA (Selecting and serving fresh and frozen seafood safely).
If correctly prepared, Sashimi grade fish can be some of the tastiest fish and can open up your food palette to a whole new world of experiences.