How to choose the right salmon for sushi

So you can’t quite forget the profound enjoyment you had from eating salmon sushi in a sushi bar in Japan, and would like to relive it at home. You dream of its light, soft, creamy taste which does not require much chewing like chicken or beef. Though there’s nothing like eating it in its home country, you still want to try preparing a batch at home to ease that incessant craving. While working with raw fish and making do-it-yourself sushi sounds a bit unsafe, it cannot be as dangerous as ordering sushi that’s made out-of-sight in a restaurant. It does take a certain amount of care and attention to make salmon sushi rolls but it is totally do-able and should taste delicious since you made them yourself. It starts by choosing the right salmon to ensure that it is fresh and safe to consume. So how do you guarantee a safe and delicious salmon sushi-dinner?

As one of the most popular edible fishes, salmon is widely available in the market and can either be caught wild or farmed. But you can’t just use any raw salmon since this specie is uncommonly susceptible to parasites that beget food-borne illnesses associated with eating raw fish. You have to look for “sushi-grade” fish that shows it is safe to eat in its natural state. This is because “sushi-grade” means the salmon was caught quickly, bled upon capture, gutted at that instant, and iced from top to bottom. Most of the raw fish you eat in sushi restaurants arrived heavily iced, and were not swimming in the ocean and caught just hours before. But fish that has been frozen still tastes great and is easier on the pocket. Fish that is safe to eat raw can be stored for seven days at a temperature of -20°C or below. “Sushi-grade” is determined by the wholesalers with the best ones rated Grade 1.

You can still avail of a fresh salmon that arrived shortly after getting caught from your local seafood store. Patronize a reputable fishmonger who knows the best practices for handling fish intended to be eaten raw, and has suppliers that comply with the same standards. Do not be shy to ask where the salmon was caught, how it was handled, and how long it has been there. Inquire also if he or she fillets the fish or it is pre-filleted, and if you can look at the logs indicating the times and temperatures the salmon was frozen.  Anyone who can answer your questions knowledgeably, receive regular shipments, and move fish briskly can give you a really good, fresh product. In addition, take note if the fish seller slices the sushi-grade salmon with the same knife and cutting board as the non-sushi-grade fish without sterilizing the knife and board first. This can lead to cross-contamination from the other fishes that contain parasites. The easiest way to get sushi-grade salmon is through the Internet with  guaranteeing sushi-grade fish delivery to your doorstep.

But the most sensible approach to make certain you do not end up with a parasitic infection is to use your senses. Your nose is not just for breathing but also for selecting the freshest salmon. It should have a clean, natural fishy smell and not at all putrid. Your eyes can spot if the whole fish has clear eyes and firm, attached scales for freshness. If its filleted, check for vibrant color and avoid anything that has discoloration. A salmon that feels flaky and mushy to the touch is also less than fresh. Remember that time is of the essence and consume the raw fresh salmon within two days while it is still good.