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Mar 26, 2009 02:16 PM

Surreal sushi color

I've noticed that when I'm jonesing for some sushi and I grab some at the local gourmet grocery (which has its own sushi bar) the fish has an eerie, overly vibrant color to it. Is there some treatment for the fish that makes it seem fresher (to the eyes) that I don't know about? The flavor's pretty nondescript except that it's unappealing. Any input from you knowledgeable 'hounds?

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  1. I don't believe that fish is generally dyed--the sushi from our local shop is exceptionally bright--the tuna comes in about 8 different shades depending on where it's cut and they type of tuna it is, salmon--bright orange, surf clam--white and cranberry...

    The vegetables can be brightened with a quick blanching (ie with the addition of baking soda to the water--makes greens greener).

    Seaweed salad--dyed green. Pink ginger--dyed pink. Wasabi--dyed green. Surimi (ie fake crab) is generally dyed orange on the top. Fish eggs are generally dyed black, red, green, or orange. If you're getting a spicy roll, chile-garlic sauce is bright red and can cause some mixtures to seemingly glow with artifice, although the ingredients in the bottle don't have any colours listed and chiles are bright red.

    The packaging, if shiny, may fool the eye a bit. Fresh fish, in an ideal setting, will remain brightly coloured even if it's not supremely fresh. The flavour will start to dwindle after cutting, but doesn't get brighter over time in my experience.

    Maybe you should post this question to BigTuna27:

    1. Salmon often has color added (, and tuna is often treated with CO which makes it redder. (


      Some stores use inappropriate lighting.