The tips you should know for homemade Sashimi

Khai DoveFebruary 17, 2023
Photo by Gotta Be Worth ItPhoto by Gotta Be Worth It

The quality of the fish is key when making sashimi.  Look for fish that has been handled and stored properly, and avoid fish with a strong or unpleasant smell.  Fresh fish should have a bright and shiny appearance, firm texture, and clear eyes.  If possible, buy fish from a trusted fishmonger who specializes in sushi-grade fish.  If you're not sure about the quality of the fish, ask the fishmonger if the fish is suitable for sashimi. The best fish for sashimi include tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and halibut.

A sharp knife is essential when making sashimi.  A dull knife can tear the fish, affecting its texture and appearance.  Use a long, thin, and sharp knife specifically designed for sashimi or sushi.  Japanese knives, such as yanagiba or usuba, are ideal for cutting sashimi.  Make sure to keep the blade of the knife sharp by honing it regularly with a honig steel or sharpening stone.

When cutting fish for sashimi, it's best to cut against the bones for the best texture and presentation.  This method, known as "hira-zukuri," involves removing the fillet from the fish and slicing it into thin, rectangular pieces.  Cutting against the bones allows for a clean, smooth cut and can help prevent the fish from falling apart.

Freezing the fish is an essential step to prevent the risk of parasitic infections.  Sashimi-grade fish should be frozen at -4°F or lower for at least 72 hours to kill any potential parasites that may be present.  Freezing the fish also helps to firm up the flesh, making it easier to slice.  After freezing, thaw the fish in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before slicing.

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Slicing the fish properly is crucial to achieve the right texture and appearance for sashimi.  When slicing the fish, cut it against the grain to ensure a smooth and consistent texture.  Cut the fish at a 45-degree angle and make sure each slice is consistent in size and thickness.  Aim for slices that are around 1/8 inch thick.  Take care not to press too hard when slicing, as this can affect the texture of the fish.

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Sashimi should be served chilled to ensure the best flavor and texture. Keep the sashimi refrigerated until ready to serve, and use a chilled plate or platter to help maintain the ideal temperature. You can also serve sashimi on a bed of ice to keep it cool. Avoid leaving sashimi at room temperature for too long, as this can cause bacteria to grow and affect the quality of the fish.

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Sashimi is traditionally served with soy sauce and wasabi. To make soy sauce more flavorful, you can add grated ginger or chopped scallions. You can also prepare other dipping sauces such as ponzu, a citrus-based sauce, or spicy mayo. To make ponzu, combine soy sauce, lemon or lime juice, and rice vinegar. For spicy mayo, mix mayonnaise and Sriracha hot sauce. You can also garnish the dish with pickled ginger, scallions, or sesame seeds to add flavor and texture.

Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on UnsplashPhoto by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

While tuna and salmon are the most popular types of fish used for sashimi, don't be afraid to try other varieties. Yellowtail, halibut, mackerel, and snapper are all good options for sashimi. Each type of fish has its own unique flavor and texture, so experiment to find your favorite.

When preparing sashimi, it's important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the fish, and make sure all surfaces and utensils are clean and sanitized. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and knives for different types of fish. To ensure maximum safety, it's also recommended to wear food-safe gloves when handling raw fish.

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To make a complete meal out of your sashimi, consider serving it with hot, fluffy rice.  Sashimi and rice make a perfect pair, with the rice serving as a neutral base to highlight the flavors of the fish.  Be sure to use high-quality Japanese rice, such as short-grain or sushi rice, for the best texture and taste.  You can also add a touch of rice vinegar to the rice to give it a slightly tangy flavor.

In conclusion, making sashimi at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to follow the proper steps to ensure safety and quality.  By choosing high-quality fish, using a sharp knife, freezing the fish, slicing it properly, serving it at the right temperature, preparing dipping sauces