A Japanese delicacy, sashimi consists of thin slices of fish served deliciously raw. But, the quality of sashimi can vary greatly depending on what fish you buy. So, when preparing for a sashimi feast, always stick to sashimi-grade fish for the best results. It’s a quality standard given to only the highest grade and best cuts of fish.
Sashimi-grade fish is usually fresh, or alternatively, has been frozen to at least minus 20°C for a minimum of 24 hours. It is a common misconception that all sashimi served is fresh, however, this is not always the case. In Japan, where sashimi is avidly consumed, it is not uncommon to pay over $10,000 for a whole frozen tuna, for use in the finest Japanese restaurants. The freezing process can be of great value, killing parasites that are found in certain fish, especially freshwater varieties. It also ensures that the freshness is locked in for its journey from the sea to the fishmonger.
In Australia, we are extremely fortunate. Sashimi tuna, for example, is almost always served fresh and the variety of fresh product available to us is of amazing quality. Other types of fish suitable for sashimi available in Australia include farmed Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon, Yellowtail Kingfish, Snapper and Yellowtail or Albacore Tuna.
And, while you can store sashimi in the fridge, don’t leave it too long. Sashimi is best eaten straight away, when it’s at its freshest with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger. Sashimi-grade fish is also a great choice for carpaccio – just slice the flesh more finely. If your knife skills are not so good, press the fish with the back of your knife to flatten and serve with a drizzle of lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
So, this summer, create your very own sashimi extravaganza right at home by heading to your nearest fishmonger.
Words by Barry Hermes
Image sourced from Flickr.