Sushi Grade Fish?
My aunt makes a wonderful spicy, raw salmon salad...Is this safe considering she is using frozen salmon filets? We want to recreate it at home but are a little afraid. Does the spicy sauce cook the salmon and make it safe like citrus acid in ceviche? Or should you only use sushi grade fish when eating it raw?
I've heard that kimchi kills 99.9% of any food bacteria, so could I just add some kimchi juice to the salmon before I eat it?
The FDA is clear on this: any fish to be sold to beconsumed raw must be frozen first, as per Bostonbob's post. (Tuna, I believe, is the only exception.) But enforcement is left up to local authorities, de facto negating it's enforcement. Kimchi, wasabi, etc., are no guarantee of killing parasites and most home freezers do not get cold enough.
Don't take any of what I write below as "gospel", because I have learned it from various sources, such as chefs, former fishermen, and online companies.
Fresh water fish have a much higher incidence of parasites, which is why we are always told not to eat it uncooked. Wild salmon lives part of it's life in fresh water, so it's somewhere in between, but (as I understand it) is still pretty low.
Deep water fish -- unless it's from a day boat -- are almost always frozen very deeply and quickly because there would be too much quality loss due to the boats being out longer. Fish intended for sashimi and sushi are bled, gutted, and cleaned immediately.
There is no legal standard for sashimi grade fish, commonly called sushi grade because many more people have at least heard of sushi. Unscrupulous -- or merely ignorant -- vendors can call any fish sushi grade.
The key? Know your fishmonger. Some unknown behind the fish counter may have just popped over from the deli. (We have a wonderful place here in St. Louis, a city not exactly known for seafood, at Bob's Seafood.) Or order from Catalina or Sushifoods online.
All that being said, mortality from eating eating unfrozen fish sashimi and sushi is extremely low. We're *far* more likely to die in a firey car crash on the way to the restaurant. Morbidity is harder to caculate, because we don''t know how many cases go unreported.
I think the safest is to buy the freshest salmon you can find then cure it with salt. Just cover it with kosher salt on a tilted sheet pan (so the water runs down) and let it cure a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Then you can use it right away or freeze for later use.
The parasite issue (especially for fresh water fish) is true and can have serious consequences if not taken into account.
These days, most fish for sushi is bought fresh in bulk by restaurants then frozen for later use. Just make sure you thaw it properly.
Sorry to change the subject a little but you all sound so knowledgable about this subject!
I'm new to making sushi and wonder if anyone has input on the average prices for ingredients. I see that with www.catalinaop.com you can get a pretty good selection but need to pay about $40 for overnight shipping. Does the $40 negate the cost savings? I don't see any other postings on this site for this info. Just trying to figure out the best options.
re: Sam Fujisaka
re: Sam Fujisaka
That's the truth. Sushi grade means nothing. I buy frozen tuna, salmon, hamachi and escolar from my local Asian market. The fish is frozen, very clean and the tuna free of sinew. It looks just like the stuff seen in the sushi restaurants. No so with the tuna at the grocery store that is labeled sushi grade.
The "official" rules of sushi grade fish:
"Fish that is suitable for eating raw must be frozen for seven days at negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit, or flash frozen for 15 hours at negative 31 degrees."
Now, whether many (or any) sushi places actually follow these "rules" is another question.
Avoid wild salmon for sushi - once they start moving upstream (enter fresh water) they are prone to picking up nasty parasites. This is your primary worry, not surface bacteria (unless your fish source does not handle their sefood properly).
Atlantic salmon is your best bet. Since 98% of all Atlantic salmon are farm raised they spend their entire life in salt water. If your fish source gets their salmon in whole, and has a high turnover, you do not need to worry about freezing. but if you want to be absolutely certain, a hard freeze of zero degees or lower for at least 24 hours (48 to 72 is, I believe, recommended by state health boards) should do the trick as noted above.
There are two schools of thought here:
The first is that frozen fish is usually frozen relatively soon after it's caught. Freezing it of course means that it doesn't have the chance for harmful bacteria to grow on the surface. Unless you have a good source of fresh fish, some folks actually recommend using frozen fish for sushi especially if you live in an area that doesn't get good seafood.
The second thought is that quality should prevail. I'm in this camp. If you have good, fresh fish there is nothing to worry about in terms of bacteria or freshness anyway and the quality is far superior than a farm raised, frozen salmon filet.
I live in Atlanta and we have a wonderful supply of super-high end, quality fresh fish at some of our specialty stores and farmer's markets (see: Super-H Mart). When I'm doing sushi at home there is no question I'm going for quality and I will make the effort to go to one of these stores for good fresh fish. I will not buy fish from the seafood counter at my local Kroger or Publix and make sushi with it; there's simply not enough turnover and the quality isn't there.
I doubt kimchi juice will kill most bacteria, only because kimchi (raw) is full of bacteria. i'm no scientist though. maybe the 2 bacterias fight it out...
maybe the kimchi sourness will cook the fish like lime juice? If you try this I'd love to know the outcome.
I've read that freezing cow liver for 2 weeks makes it pretty much safe to eat raw, but this was a cookbook, not a science paper.
In herbal medicine chiles are known to have antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic properties. Maybe chile sauce will cook fish, or at least inhibit bacterial growth.
Sorry this doesn't answer any of your questions! Good luck!