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Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy you can enjoy at home with little to no hassle. Follow our guide for practical tips on how to enjoy Sashimi at home.
Sashimi is a popular Japanese dish made from fresh seafood, primarily fish, sliced thinly and served raw. Furthermore, the thin fish strips are accompanied by an assortment of confronted and garnishes like wasabi, ginger, radish, and more.
While this popular Japanese cuisine appears in restaurants, creating one yourself in a kitchen is possible. Therefore, this article aims to provide all the necessary information to enjoy Sashimi at home.
What is Sashimi?
Sashimi is a popular meal from Japan consisting of thinly sliced raw fish or meat and is typically served in various assortments. These condiments can include soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, shredded daikon radish, ponzu, minty shiso leaves, and more.
It's worth mentioning that Sashimi is usually made from sushi-grade fish, meaning the fish has been frozen for long periods to kill parasites. This type of fish is considered the highest quality and most expensive, commonly seen in high-end Sushi restaurants.
However, you can use other high-quality Sashimi fish options if you need help finding sushi-grade fish for your home cooking. A common alternative is using saltwater fish, meat, or shellfish for Sashimi; avoid freshwater fish as they're susceptible to bacteria and parasites.
Difference Between Sashimi and Sushi
Sushi and Sashimi are often confused and used interchangeably, and while they share a familiar main ingredient, some factors set them apart, such as ingredients and preparation process.
Sashimi is made from thinly sliced raw fish or meat and isn't served with rice; however, sushi has raw fish and meat alongside seasoned and vinegared rice. Another distinguishing factor is that the Sashimi fish and meat are always plain, but sushi has a recipe option featuring raw and cooked ingredients.
Best Fish for Homemade Sashimi
While Sashimi involves raw fish and various ingredients, there are different types of Sashimi fish, and choosing the right one is one step towards attaining the perfect flavour. Fishes like Tuna, kingfish, and salmon are commonly used to make Sashimi as they offer the right texture and taste for the dish.
Other common alternatives that can be served as Sashimi at home include squid, whiting, garfish, sea urchins, scallops, bream, flounder, and snapper. In addition, get the freshest fish for your homemade Sashimi since some fish taste better if left to age.
Big fishes like flounder and snapper taste better when left to age as their muscles relax overnight. On the other hand, you should eat big fishes, like tuna Sashimi, colour and taste gets better when aged well.
Two Best Ways to Cut your Fish for Sashimi
The primary factor that differentiates Sashimi from other fish-related meals is that the chosen type of fish is sliced thinly and delicately. In other words, how you cut your Sashimi fish plays a significant role in the delicacy.
In this case, buying filleted and skinned fish allows you to prepare your Sashimi with little to no hassle. Ensure your knives and other coming equipment are ready and clean as we walk you through the different slicing techniques for making Sashimi.
These popular Sashimi cutting styles include:
Usu-zukuri translates to "Thin Slice" in Japanese, cutting the fillet from the left and across the grain in a horizontal motion. This cutting technique is used for thin fish fillets like whiting, flounder, and bream since it's ideal for creating diagonal and thin strips.
Hira-zukuri is Japanese for 'the rectangular slice', the most common method for cutting Sashimi. For right-handed individuals, consider starting from the right side of the fish fillet and drawing the knife from the blade's base to the tip using a vertical stroke.
The Hira-zukuri method gives you a cleanly sliced piece of fish with a 0.5 to 1-centimetre width. Furthermore, this style is ideal for cutting fish like kingfish, salmon, and runs.
Irrespective of the cutting technique you use to cut your Sashimi, aim to cut each slice uniformly to create a consistent texture throughout. However, each method takes time to master, so either practice or buy some already-sliced Sashimi fish online or locally.
Unique Sashimi Recipes Worth Trying
While the standard Sashimi recipe is relatively straightforward, there are other variations of Japanese cuisine that may interest your taste buds.
Here are a few Sashimi recipe options to try:
Tuna Sashimi with Soy Sauce
You can make Sashimi with a variety of fishes; however, each option requires slightly different processes, especially Tuna. Smaller fishes like Tuna need to be eaten quickly as letting them age strips the meat of the desired texture and flavour.
Keep the fish refrigerated until ready to serve since the cold keeps it in the perfect condition for making neat slices. Afterwards, trim away blemishes with a sharp fillet knife before slicing them into long, evenly thick strips (1/4 to 1/3 inch).
Cut your thick Tuna strips in one slice instead of sawing back and forth; this action provides a cleaner cut with no tear on the fish. Next, cut the strips into smaller pieces and serve the pieces in a fanned-out, overlapping row.
You can use Wasabi, ginger, and a small dish of soy sauce for dipping alongside any beverage of your choice, preferably Sake (Sah-kay), a Japanese rice wine.
Snapper Sashimi with Gochujang Sauce
Snapper Sashimi with Gochujang Sauce is a common Sashimi variant enjoyed by sushi and Sashimi lovers. It's delicious, fast, and easy to make with a few common ingredients. Furthermore, understanding how to prepare bigger fishes like snapper sets the foundation for making Sashimi with similar fishes in the future.
Take the skin off your snapper meat by cutting or pulling it off the meat fillet before slicing the fish thinly. This process only applies if your snapper isn't bought ready for Sashimi. Afterwards, prepare your Gochujang sauce with the ingredients provided or buy an already-made one.
Once both the snapper and Gochujang sauce are ready, arrange the fish onto a plate and pour over the sauce to finish. Consider garnishing with lemon or other preferred options.
How To Properly Eat Sashimi at Home
Different meals are consumed in many ways; some with forks, spoons, and even bare hands, but Sashimi is traditionally eaten with chopsticks or your hands. Furthermore, refrain from pouring the soy sauce over the Sashimi like mustard on chips.
Instead, dip your chopsticks or fingers into the soy sauce, then pick up the fish to eat. Also, eat the ensure Sashimi in one bite, then cleanse your palate with a small piece of pickled ginger.
You can include wasabi with your soy sauce for extra flavour; other recipes involve pepper, but Wasabi is a more traditional option. Note, do not mix your wasabi with the soy sauce; instead, place some Wasabi on the fish before dipping it into the sauce.
Best Practices for Making Sashimi at Home
Making the best Sashimi similar to one's prepared by professional chefs takes a lot of time and effort. Here are some of the best practices to observe to ensure your Sashimi comes out perfect:
Significant ingredients like fish and meat need a clean environment for preparation to prevent contamination. For this reason, ensure to clean your kitchen surface and tools to avoid getting bacteria in costly locations.
If you plan to get fresh fish for your Sashimi, the best option for preservation is to freeze the meat to prevent parasitic activities on the skin. This is a common practice by many Japanese restaurants making sushi and Sashimi as they use "super" freezers to keep fish cold and ideal for consumption.
Different fish types ideal for Sashimi exist, and this variation dictates how you cut the skin; fortunately, there are various techniques for cutting your Sashimi. The most popular are Rectangular Slice/Hira-zukuri and Thin Slice/Usu-zukuri. Ensure to use a very sharp knife to get thin and consistent cuts.
Sashimi is similar to sushi and is a good food packed with Umami flavour, making it one of the world's most unique dishes despite being mostly eaten raw. Furthermore, Sashimi comes in many different variants, with people substituting soy sauce with daikon and shiso garnishes since they provide a fresh and minty flavour.
Nevertheless, you need the best Sashimi fish and meat available irrespective of your desired Sashimi recipe. Consider visiting Fishme.com for all the ingredients necessary to enjoy Sashimi.
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