It's an odd concept to be able to eat a meat product that has never been cooked. But if you obtain the right types of fish, you can create perfectly safe raw fish dishes. The secret is to select the right type of seafood and to properly preserve fish that you have caught yourself.
Choosing the Right Fish
The safest seafood to purchase is that which is considered "sashimi grade." While this is most often sold to restaurants, there are also businesses that will ship sashimi-grade seafood to your home. Grocery stores also sometimes offer sashimi-grade fish. If you are not sure, the individual behind the counter should be able to tell you if the fish is sashimi grade. Safe fish to eat raw include:
- Yellow tail
- Red snapper
Only purchase the fish if it has been frozen. Frozen fish should not be purchased if the bag is partially opened, since the fish might have thawed partially. Grab the packages that are as deep into the freezer as possible, since packages beyond the frost line might have partially thawed. Once you have brought the fish home, promptly place it in the freezer unless you are intending to cook with it soon.
Preserving a Fish You Caught Yourself
If you are able to catch a live fish, one of the best ways to serve it very fresh is to kill the fish by using a special hooked tool that destroys the fish's brain, a process known as ike-jime. You would then need to drain the blood so the fish does not retain the fishy odor.
When you intend to serve the fish in the future, you will need to vacuum-seal it and freeze it to prevent air from causing it to decay. Purchase a vacuum-sealer, which is a device that will seal the fish in a bag. First, freeze the fish. Then, place each individual fish in water and freeze them so that they develop a thin coat of ice. Then, you can place the fish in the vacuum-sealed bags and activate the machine.
Trying Raw Fish at a Restaurant Instead
If you are not confident in your ability to prepare raw fish at home, you should consider trying it while you are out to dinner at a seafood restaurant instead. You can check out a site, like alaskanturtle.com, for more information. The fish prepared at restaurants that serve raw fish are much more likely to be caught far off shore where the fish are unlikely to contain parasites. Plus, at a restaurant you'll be able to taste dishes you may have not thought of preparing; and, if you are not confident in your preservation methods, you'll feel safer eating fish that is fresh!