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Thread: Sashimi grade fish

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ucmd's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Sashimi grade fish

    Little help here. I would like to have suggestions from members who have ordered from online distributors. Who is good? Great deals anywhere.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brad Gibson's Avatar
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    May 2013
    San Diego, CA
    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.
    "A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe." -Thomas Keller

  3. #3
    Senior Member AFKitchenknivesguy's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    This topic is relevent to my interests.

  4. #4
    daveb's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Just outside Tampa
    "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.


    Older and wider.

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Duckfat's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    The Motor City
    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.

    Who you jivin' with that Cosmik Debris?

  8. #8
    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:

    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 (

    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).
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    South Central PA
    Thanks for that. Very interesting
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Los Angeles/Manila
    Best choice if u hav to use frozen is flash frozen but most lose their texture from the freezing process and can become bet is for sashimi grade is still purchasing locally if possible

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