What makes raw food “sashimi-grade”?
Sashimi-grade seafood are caught and handled in such a way that peak freshness and quality are maintained. For example, sashimi-grade salmon, after it is caught, they are killed instantly by brain-spiking (ike jime). This prevents the fish from struggling and releasing stress hormones and helps keep the body temperature low. The fish is then put into an ice bath to drop the body temperature as close to 0ºC as quickly as possible. Back to the factory, they are blast frozen quickly at extremely cold temperatures ranging from -31°C to -40°C. This process kills parasites without breaking down the flesh and without ice crystals forming that can affect the texture and mouthfeel of the fish.
How to handle sashimi-grade seafood at home?
Ideally fresh sashimi-grade fish should be purchased on the day of consumption or kept no more than 24 hours in a domestic fridge to maintain the premium quality. However, as ours is vacuum packed, it can last 48 hours unopened.
When slicing sashimi-grade seafood at home, ensure that your hands, utensils and cutting board have been washed properly (even better if you can sanitize it) and allowed to air dry, or wipe dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
Throughout the slicing process, touch the fish flesh as little as possible, both to minimize the risk of introducing pathogens to the fish.
How do you know your sashimi is fresh?
Appearance: Looks Bright orange or pink
Touch: Feels Spongy/ springy
Appearance: Ivory Colour
Touch: Feels Soft
Taste: Sweet and creamy
What Does ‘Sashimi-grade’ Mean? (n.d). Retrieved from: http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/seafood-school/recipes-cooking-info/faqs/faq-details?cat=4&id=61
Raymay. C. C. (2015). Freezing Fish, Killing Parasites? Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/science/freezing-fish-killing-parasites.html
Spaeth. S. (2017). What Is “Sushi-Grade,” Anyway? A Guide to Eating Raw Fish at Home. Retrieved from: https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/05/how-to-prepare-raw-fish-at-home-sushi-sashimi-food-safety.html
A Guide to Your Favourite Sashimi. (2015). Retrieved from: http://www.shape.com.sg/food/guide-your-favourite-sashimi/