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Ucmd
06-04-2013, 10:17 PM
Little help here. I would like to have suggestions from members who have ordered from online distributors. Who is good? Great deals anywhere.

Brad Gibson
06-04-2013, 10:21 PM
I feel like the term "sashimi grade" is a little silly. Within reason, most fish that is fresh can be served as sashimi. I think that the different grades of fish only adhere to their fattiness and coloration. I could be wrong but I have received like 20 different variations in color and fattiness when ordering my fish purveyors #1 grade big eye ahi tuna. The only thing I could suggest is getting something more fresh. The more fresh the fish is, the better it tastes. That should be the bottom line when deciding what fish to buy.

I feel like someone selling fish as "sashimi grade" is trying to gimmick you into thinking that its fresh and very high quality. When in reality all fish is "sashimi grade", just most sushi restaurants wouldn't sell it if its not extremely fresh and well colored fish.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-04-2013, 10:30 PM
This topic is relevent to my interests.

daveb
06-04-2013, 10:37 PM
"online distributor" suggests (to me anyway) that Ucmd is trying to source quality frozen.

I've been told that "sashimi grade" can only used with fish that is frozen on-board the boat when it is caught, though I suspect that like "organic", it can mean whatever the guy with the label maker wants it to mean.

Regards,

Dave

ptolemy
06-05-2013, 12:31 AM
If there are no strict regulations, then likely you get whatever the distributor tells/gives you. The best way is likely the long way. Either rely on a contract who has done business with a distributor and can recommend it (and give you advice what to get and what to stay away from), or you have to do your homework and inquire every possibly detail. Where it's caught, whether it's flash frozen on board or just kept on ice and so on.

toddnmd
06-05-2013, 08:14 AM
My understanding is that sashimi grade fish *must* be frozen. Doing so, at a suitable temperature and amount of time, kills the parasites that might be in the raw fish. I used to think that sashimi meant fresh, but after hearing this, it makes more sense that freezing the fish makes it safer.

Duckfat
06-05-2013, 08:35 AM
Sashimi or Sushi grade fish should always be frozen to FDA guidelines to kill parasites. It's the law in the US that any raw fish served in a restaurant be previously frozen to those guidelines.
That's worlds apart from the marketing hype that a retail vendor can use.
The fish does not need to be frozen on board to meet that requirement. My best guess is that daveb is referring to Saku block Tuna. The best of which (IMO) is line caught and processed on board.

Dave

mhlee
06-05-2013, 05:45 PM
I can't recommend a single online distributor because I've never purchased through one. But, I recall a previous thread where one was recommended (I believe the retailer was out of San Diego or somewhere here in California). I think it was this place: http://www.catalinaop.com/

You may want to consider talking to a local sushi bar or raw bar where they get "sashimi" grade fish. Although many wholesalers don't sell retail, some may. I go to two wholesalers here in LA that sell retail as well. They have all kinds of "sashimi" grade stuff. Also try an Asian market.

But, it's not true that most fish that are fresh can be served as "sashimi." You'll almost never see any freshwater fish (unless it comes from a wholly enclosed, circulated system) because freshwater fish can harbor bacteria, viruses and parasites that are harmful to humans. On top of that, most anadramous fish also are not or should not be served fresh or never frozen because they too can harbor bacteria, viruses and parasites that are harmful to humans. A prime example is salmon; salmon should generally be frozen before eaten uncooked. There are only a couple of brands of salmon that purportedly can be used without being frozen for raw preparations. And, Duckfat is right; the FDA recommends freezing (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM252393.pdf).

Also, fresh does not equal safe or desirable for raw. I can't tell you how many super fresh, wild fish I saw (when I sold retail seafood for several years, including handling, cutting and selling lots of "sashimi" grade/quality fish) with numerous parasites in them, including California wild King salmon, various red tunas (soft spots), California Halibut, Black Cod, Rock Cods of various species, Sand Dabs, Pollack, etc.

Amazingly, you'll now see fish that were never previously used for raw preparations, which I imagine because many of the fishes traditionally used for sushi are just too expensive. That website above is now selling rock fish for sashimi. Black Cod is even being used which completely surprised me. That's one fish I would have never imagined being used for raw preparations. It's an extremely soft fish, with a gummy/mushy/slick mouthfeel when undercooked (I haven't eaten it raw and likely won't because of possible parasites - it's hard to tell in this fish because the color is dense; you can't necessarily see certain parasites).

Jmadams13
06-08-2013, 11:21 AM
Thanks for that. Very interesting

ms4awd
06-08-2013, 11:54 AM
Best choice if u hav to use frozen is flash frozen but most lose their texture from the freezing process and can become watery...best bet is for sashimi grade is still purchasing locally if possible

Brad Gibson
06-08-2013, 12:38 PM
So Catalina off shore is a great purveyor but I heard that they get a lot of their seafood from a purveyor called San Diego seafood. I work in San Diego in a professional kitchen and we use a few different purveyors. Catalina off shore is probably one of the best for specialty products and rare seafood.

bkdc
06-11-2013, 01:09 PM
All raw fish served fresh in the USA must be frozen first. The only exception is tuna. I wasn't aware that the fish had to be frozen at the site of the catch.

mhlee
06-11-2013, 01:43 PM
Do you have a citation for this? Are you talking about state or federal guidelines?


All raw fish served fresh in the USA must be frozen first. The only exception is tuna. I wasn't aware that the fish had to be frozen at the site of the catch.

bkdc
06-11-2013, 05:23 PM
There are FDA and state guidelines. FDA guidelines are for the number of parasitic cysts per weight of fish with recommendations for freezing to deal with parasites. But in general, the flesh of fresh tuna is considered very clean from parasites. Do you know any restaurants serving fresh raw never-frozen fish (other than tuna) in the USA? We're all at the mercy of the food preparers.

mhlee
06-11-2013, 05:48 PM
There are FDA and state guidelines. FDA guidelines are for the number of parasitic cysts per weight of fish with recommendations for freezing to deal with parasites. But in general, the flesh of fresh tuna is considered very clean from parasites. Do you know any restaurants serving fresh raw never-frozen fish (other than tuna) in the USA? We're all at the mercy of the food preparers.

The FDA guidelines are not mandatory. That's why I was asking. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM252393.pdf

I understand that tunas are generally considered cleaner, but I've seen plenty that had soft spots. These types of soft spots were also found in farmed salmon.

And, of course, I know a number of restaurants serving fresh, never raw, never-frozen fish. The sushi bar I went to last week does.

JBroida
06-11-2013, 05:48 PM
actually... tuna is the one that needs freezing in my experience... many other kinds of fish are fine without freezing.

Sambal
06-11-2013, 08:23 PM
actually... tuna is the one that needs freezing in my experience... many other kinds of fish are fine without freezing.

Can you say why Jon?


And, with large fish, what's the thinking about mercury and other trace heavy metals in them?

JBroida
06-11-2013, 09:02 PM
honestly not sure... chefs in japan tell me that its because tuna has a lot of parisites and freezing kills them

ms4awd
06-11-2013, 09:15 PM
It used to b required for Salmon served raw in the states...frozen and held at -4f for min 24 hrs to kill anikasis in case its present, I believe its cause salmon migrates to fresh water in its life cycle...

Duckfat
06-12-2013, 09:45 AM
Tuna has fewer parasites but by no means are they parasite "free". The vast majority of Tuna is frozen either way since logistically it would be impossible to have a consistent supply. IIR Morimoto has dedicated Tuna freezers.
mhlee is correct that the FDA does not enforce Federal guide lines on restaurants, however most state health departments adopt the FDA/USDA guide lines. I'm sure any of us that have spent any time in this Industry know how skewed enforcement can be from region to region or even inspector to inspector.
Freezing won't change Mercury content and most pelagic species do contain mercury.
Freshwater species have issues as well. IIR there were serious out breaks with Whitefish/Pike in Gefilte fish in the past.
In regards to Salmon Googlu up -Chicago/Salmon/Tapeworm and find the article about the Chap that needed a 9' worm surgically removed from his bum. :pirate1:
This is an old article but still interesting;

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/08/nyregion/sushi-fresh-from-the-deep-the-deep-freeze.html?src=pm

Mike Davis
06-12-2013, 10:43 AM
I have every intention of ordering from Catalina this week. I will report back as to quality, fathers day will be a sushi fest for me :)