Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 30, 2009 09:34 AM

Just bought tuna from WF, can I leave it raw inside?

I bought tuna from whole foods (it wasn't the sushi grade) and am wondering is it safe to pan sear it and leave it kinda raw inside? Is that okay?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've done it many times for the Epicurious dish Pan Seared Tuna with Ginger Shiitake Cream...have never had a problem.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Val

      okay i just wanted to make sure it would be "safe" and nobody would get sick since its technically not sushi grade.

      1. re: Val

        Love that ginger shiitake cream recipe.

        And yes, we leave WFs tuna very rare (raw) inside all the time.

        1. re: LulusMom

 father in law asked me if he could lick his plate when I made that for him and MIL...I'm single now but still close to my in-laws whom I love...he STILL talks about that meal I served them! That's one of the best Epi recipes ever, for me anyway!

          1. re: LulusMom

            I saw that recipe I think which someone also a while back said that they tried it and it was good. Have not tried it yet, but it does look very good.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              The only thing I usually change in the sauce is the amount of soy's a bit much! Some of the reviewers point this out and I agree.

              1. re: Val

                I'm gonna have to try it. I looks good. I like fish and seafood plain normally, but every now and then some sauce is ok to change things up. Thx for the soy sauce tip.

                1. re: Val

                  This sauce is also great on chicken and shrimp.

            2. re: Val

              I just tried this recipe today and it was great! Thanks for the recommendation!

            3. Could you? Should you?

              Well you shouldn't. Buy sashimi grade tuna and then cook it (or don't) however you like.

              Realistically, will you have a problem if you leave it pink in the middle? Most likely not. I would rather see you cook it to med. rare (pink in the center) than barely sear it but taking your chances will likely work out in your favor.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Kater

                And this advice is based on?

                "Sashimi grade" has no official definition. It's nothing but a marketing term. It means nothing whatsoever. "Sushi grade" is even worse - not just meaningless, but willfully ignorant. Sliced fish is not and never has been sushi.

                There's a tiny chance that any slab of raw tuna may contain parasites. This is true regardless of the freshness of the fish, its fat content, its method of harvest, or where it came from. If you want to make sure the parasites are dead, buy tuna that's been frozen. Ignore the hype about "sushi grade."

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  This is true. If the fish looks good go for it. So much of the fish in supermarkets has been frozen at one time from boat to market. Even if you ask, the people behind the counter can only tell you how they receive the fish. They usally don't have a clue as to how the fish was handled before they got it.

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    Exactly! Most behind the seafood counter have no idea those tuna loins came into their vendor whole and frozen before the store received them "fresh".
                    Any "sashimi" or "Sushi" grade Tuna should have been previously frozen. That's the only difference other than marketing.
                    If you are really in doubt freeze it yourself. A home freezer that gets -5 or so would require the fish to be frozen several days to kill any parasites.
                    This may be interesting to some;

                    "The effectiveness of freezing to kill parasites depends on several factors, including the temperature of the freezing process, the length of time needed to freeze the fish tissue, the length of time the fish is held frozen, the fat content of the fish, and the type of parasite present. The temperature of the freezing process, the length of time the fish is held frozen, and the type of parasite appear to be the most important factors. For example, tapeworms are more susceptible to freezing than are roundworms. Flukes appear to be more resistant than roundworms.

                    Freezing and storing at -4°F (-20°C) or below for 7 days (total time), or freezing at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at -31°F (-35°C) or below for 15 hours, or freezing at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at -4°F (-20°C) or below for 24 hours is sufficient to kill parasites. FDA's Food Code recommends these freezing conditions to retailers who provide fish intended for raw consumption. "

              2. I cook tuna 2-3 times per month, never sushi grade. Can't afford it. My fish monger has never told me it would be harmful. As long as the tuna is fresh, smells good absolutely fine. Whole food should have good quality seafood so I would think there is no problem. And I always sear mine medium rare to rare. Just warm in the middle. My favorite way is sesame seeds and peppercorn, simple and delish.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Me too on all counts - both the prep and the grade of fish.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Got to be one of my all time favorite fish. I have had sushi grade and it was good, I'm not sure all that better, but great flavor for sure. Just can't afford it as often as I like to eat tuna. Maybe when I win the lotto :)

                    A very good friend of mine is up fishing in Canada and I should have a fedex with fresh salmon. I'm looking forward to that. Call it sushi grade salmon if you will. In the river in the morning and the next night on my table.

                2. Lets us know how you make it. Many great ways

                  And if you have cats ... it's not a good idea to take it out and set it on the counter and walk away ... trust me, from personal experience.

                  1. "Sushi / sashimi grade" tuna basically means the cut will have little to no connective tissues in it. It isn't really an overall statement of the quality or health of the animal. It is more like the difference between buying chuck or tenderloin when you buy beef.

                    I cook fish rare all of the time and have never become ill. The government suggests you overcook all of your food. Having seen the government in action over my lifetime I take that advice with more than a single grain of salt.

                    Food born illness almost always comes from cross contamination. No meal is 100% safe, and it never will be.

                    If you follow my line of thinking cook the fish to you liking and practice safe food handling practices. The rest is all up to chance, and the odds are overwhelmingly on your side.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Brandon Nelson

                      seriously! If it were up to the govt. we'd all be eating well done steaks, burgers, and for god's sake, duck, too. If the rest of the world eats it rare-med. rare, how can it be bad for Americans!?
                      They're all crazy. Never cook tuna more than med-rare, unless you're flaking it for tuna salad.

                      1. re: hollyd

                        Pork used to have to be like shoe leather, now a nice pink medium is acceptable, I am sure everyone remember that.

                        Duck too. My neighbor who we ate with quite often baked it till rock hard, lol.

                        Tuna, is heaven med/rare.

                        1. re: hollyd

                          In this area, if you go out for a burger, the rule is they MUST cook it to med at the very least. Lame.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            I somewhat agree on the burger. No blood. But like nice and pink. Medium rare to medium for me. Definitely pink!! Going out it is almost impossible to get it. It is either bloody or rock hard.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              I eat almost no red meat myself, so my poor husband has to get his red meat fixes when we go out to dinner (luckily we have 2 babysitter nights each week). So this burger situation drives the poor man nuts.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Let him gobble up. Hey enjoy the time out and quality with the two of you!! Hopefully he can get a juicy pink burger to make him feel better.

                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  Aren't you kind. Yes, I have absolutely no problem with him eating meat, and he can eat it as red (or blue in Argentina - eeek) as he wants it.

                                  The burger thing around here is just weird. It turns out that if the place grinds the meat themselves, they can serve it rare. But not that many places grind their own meat, unfortunately.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    That's probably good. I've heard that rare ground meat is much more dangerous than rare steak. it makes sense-- it's all touching the grinder-- which may or may not be clean-- whereas with a steak, the middle is more protected from germs and you can kill the bacteria on the outside. I guess they think if the restaurant grinds it, they can be sure the grinder is clean.