Sashimi is a common Japanese food mainly consisting of raw fish or meat thinly-sliced. It can be prepared in your own home, but since it is raw, be careful about the fish you use. Ideally, freshly-caught fish is recommended. If there’s too much fresh fish for one meal, you can preserve the freshness and quality of the fish by vacuum sealing it. The FoodSaver V2244 is an affordable option at under $100. It is manually-operated and easy to use. You put the fish fillet inside the freezer bag, and then put the open end onto the vacuum sealing channel. Close the lid, and lock it in so it will be securely in place. Press the vacuum and seal button, and wait for it to finish. It will stop when it has thoroughly removed air from the bag, and has sealed in the freshness of your fish. Click here to see more about foodsaver v2244 vacuum sealer
In a traditional Japanese meal, the sashimi is served first, like appetizers. But they can also be part of the main meal, especially when served with rice and miso soup. Experts, though, argue that the best time to enjoy sashimi is at the start of the meal, when the taste buds have not yet been corrupted by other flavors.
Since raw fish is used, while there may be flavors on it depending on the fatness or leanness of the fish, enjoying sashimi depends on the dipping sauce you use. Some use plain soy sauce, while others mix in wasabi and fresh grated ginger. The flavor is an exotic mix of salty and spicy, although difficult to pinpoint which.
Best fishes for sashimi
Since sashimi involves raw fish, you have to make sure that it is safe to eat. Choose the kind of fish that is best for sashimi. Preserve it by vacuum sealing, and when you are ready to go Japanese, prepare it for your favorite sashimi.
Salmon is the most common fish used. Other options include:
- Puffer fish
If you want to be more adventurous, other seafood may be used:
- Sea urchin
In general, this seafood is raw when made into sashimi, but octopus can be cooked ahead as it can be rather chewy if raw.
A type of sashimi called ‘tataki’ does a quick searing of the outside of the fish, but leaving the inside raw. Aside from searing, some prepare sashimi using fish that has been smoked or brined or blanched.
Tips for freezing the fish for sashimi
Making sashimi is all about the cut. Japanese food experts have a cliché that translates to ‘cutting is the most important, cooking comes second’. Depending on how artful and creative you are in the presentation of the food, you can cut the fish in cubes or chunks or in long strips. There is no hard and fast rule; you are the master of your own sashimi.
Here are some reminders about freezing fish:
- Freeze fresh. If the fish is not fresh, vacuum sealing or freezing it will not make it fresh. So make sure to buy fresh;
- Clean and vacuum seal right after purchase. Some freeze the fish just enough to get a more solid, firmer flesh so working on it becomes easier, and the flesh is not too soft to bruise or tear;
- Remove the bones from the fish. Some prefer to vacuum seal it in original uncut size, but filleted. The benefit is you can play around with the cuts and sizes when you are ready to make your sashimi. The downside is you may need a bigger freezer bag. FoodSaver rolls or pre-cut bags may be used;
- You can cut it into sizes ready for serving, like cubes or strips before vacuum sealing. If an important guest drops by your house for dinner, you can easily and conveniently surprise him with your sashimi in a jiffy;
- Portion your sashimi fishes into single serve so you don’t have to thaw, open, re-seal and re-freeze. Just open and prepare what you need.
The danger of eating raw fish is that spoiled fish may cause adverse health effects. It is very important that you use the best quality of fish. You either use fresh, or that which has been vacuum sealed fresh.