Dumb questions on sashimi prep

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Apologies in advance for the noobie questions, but hopefully these are quickly answered by more experienced sashimi chefs.

Background:
I’ve started trying slicing up sashimi, buying pre-trimmed farmed salmon from my local fish monger (farmed salmon is by far the most readily available where I live). It’s been a hit with the Mrs so far, but I’m aware I’ve got lots to learn, hence the questions.

Questions:
1) The last couple of weeks I’ve noticed really fine bones in the trimmed salmon fillet that I’ve bought from the fish monger. When I tackled him on it, I got this long explanation about the fine bones being un-ossified cartilaginous “pre-bones” which I’ll only be able to identify when slicing, and it’s up to me to pull them out with a fish bone tweezer. As I know stuff all about fish mongering, I thought I’d run that past the far more experienced peeps here to see whether I’m just being creatively lied to by a lazy fishmonger or if this is a common part of sashimi prep?

2) What kind of grit edge are you using for sashimi?

3) I’ve only got double bevel knives at the moment as I’ve really just focused on multiple use knives, assuming that my edge is good enough of a double bevel, am I missing anything significant in terms of cutting performance compared with a yanagiba?

4) If I was considering purchasing a sujihiki at some point (I don’t have one currently, but again trying to keep my knives more multiple use), does the thinness of the knife make a significant difference for sashimi prep (as I’m aware some yanagibas are much thicker than say a ginga suji)? Also, is flex in a thin suji a liability for raw protein slicing like sashimi (noting that flex would be useful for filleting)?

5) Do you have any favourite YouTube channels for sashimi prep / skills?
 
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1.) It sounds like he's bs-ing you to me. The pin bones are in all salmon. I guess it depends on the standard of your fish monger as to whether they take them out. No self-respecting Japanese 魚屋さん would leave the pin bones in the side of the fish. Those do need to be tweezed out. Most Americans I've seen are satisfied as long as there's no spine or ribs remaining though. There's a decent chance he just doesn't know? Food service training the whole world over is hit-or-miss.

2.) Depends? The fish that are normally rectangular cut (salmon, hamachi, etc) are fine one a 1k-2k range for home chefs (depending on tendon lines for certain fish and your skill level). If you're doing usuzukuri you'll definitely need 5k-8k depending on your ability.

3.) Yes. But if you're not a pro, it probably won't have as much of an impact on your performance.

4.) Thinness is less important than length. Sashimi is mostly done using a draw cut. The length helps avoid the sawing motion that ruins the texture. I think that consistency of your edge sharpening is more important than grit necessarily (i.e. that a person who can get a consistent level of sharpness the whole length of their knife on a 1k will have better results than somebody with inconsistent sharpening on an 8k). Rather than thinking about flex and knife type and stone grit, I recommend just getting at least a knife at least 240mm and practicing your draw cuts until you achieve good results.

5.) sorry, I don't watch a lot of youtube. I'm sure others here have good suggestions.
 
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Thanks! Yes, it had a smell of BS about it, hence the question here. It just seemed to me a bit incongruous that they market it as “sashimi salmon” but you’ve kind of got to remove the pin bones at home. Ultimately I don’t mind doing it now I know to.

Thanks for your thoughts on length / grit / consistency / etc. I’ll need to try some different things out and see how I go. I had to Google usuzukuri, which looks amazing! Not something I’d be game enough to try now, but definitely worth trying to work towards:)
 

Benuser

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If you get a simple carbon steel 270 sujihiki it is by far the easiest to adapt to your needs, as simple carbon steel is little abrasion resistant. Sharpening, thinning behind the edge, perhaps further altering the geometry, all can very easily be done. The Misono Swedish Carbon has a very fine structure. For other uses you may prefer a coarser steel, in your case though this is likely to be more appropriate. Misono Sweden Steel Series Sujihiki (240mm to 360mm, 5 sizes)
 
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Thanks for the suggestions.
I’ve been watching a bunch of sashimi prep YouTube vids yesterday and can see the value in the longer length.
I have also only now realised that I have been slicing “backwards”, essentially having my non-slicing hand holding the fillet and then slicing outwards (like a back hand tennis stroke?) which I guess is how I slice cooked proteins. I do have a follow up question about the inwards slice where your non-slicing hand is supporting the slice at the end (like a forehand tennis stroke):
What is the key purpose of supporting the slice with your hand, is it to achieve more consistency in thickness so there is less “tapering” or “pulling” on the soft proteins as your pull slice essentially applies pressure down and backwards? Or is it just a speed or efficiency thing, as you have to plate the sushi so need to move it off the board so it’s not near the next slice?
 

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Thanks for the suggestions.
I’ve been watching a bunch of sashimi prep YouTube vids yesterday and can see the value in the longer length.
I have also only now realised that I have been slicing “backwards”, essentially having my non-slicing hand holding the fillet and then slicing outwards (like a back hand tennis stroke?) which I guess is how I slice cooked proteins. I do have a follow up question about the inwards slice where your non-slicing hand is supporting the slice at the end (like a forehand tennis stroke):
What is the key purpose of supporting the slice with your hand, is it to achieve more consistency in thickness so there is less “tapering” or “pulling” on the soft proteins as your pull slice essentially applies pressure down and backwards? Or is it just a speed or efficiency thing, as you have to plate the sushi so need to move it off the board so it’s not near the next slice?
I’m not sure of the proper reason, but you can really control the angle and path of the blade much easier this way. A diagonal slide towards the body is a bit more comfortable of a motion.

Being able to manipulate the food with the non-knife also factors in heavily. I find the correct habits settle in quickly, because it’s just not viable the other way.
 
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