Time after time I’ve gone to a local grocery store and asked for a piece of raw fish. Usually tuna or salmon. I then went home and attempted to slice it up, sushi style. But it never EVER came close to what’s offered in sushi restaurants. I thought it was me and the lack of sushi training I had. But according to Slashfood and SushiFAQ apparently I was wrong…
The question of what is sushi grade fish comes up a lot and no one seems to accurately answer that question. After some research I am now able to offer an answer. As for micro standards for sushi or sashimi grade seafood, I have spoken with many in the seafood industry who supply ‘sushi grade’ fish for sushi and sashimi served at restaurants and they all give me the same answer… they do not know of any regulations from FDA or other agencies which is why suppliers set up their own micro and chemical parameters for their products. A search of FDA documents turns up the same results, no clear standards as to what makes fish ‘sushi grade’ or ‘sashimi grade’ and no definition of the term. The only concern any inspectors have is the parasite destruction guarantee, which is accomplished by ‘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’ which is sufficient to kill parasites. The FDA’s Food Code recommends these freezing conditions to retailers who provide fish intended for raw consumption (for further information, please visit the FDA website). I know that is a mouthful, but it’s the facts. Other than a few specific organisms of concern for some seafood, sashimi standards are set as any other ready-to-eat item.
Much more info can be found on the links above. But if you’re too lazy to either prepare it the right way or read the linked article, you can just visit Catalina Offshore Products and have them deliver fresh sushi to your door. They’ve been selling the finest seafood to fine dining restaurants and sushi bars for over 25 years. Now you can purchase the same high quality products at wholesale prices.
I’m no sushi expert, but the prices actually look pretty fair, too. Am I right? Let me know if I’m wrong about that.