what is sushi grade fish? sushi grade fish is basically; The freshest fish, guaranteed to be parasite free, which can be eaten raw.
How do you guarantee sushi grade fish without parasites?
The FDA (food and drug administration) as set some guide lines to help with the destruction of possible parasites hidden inside raw fish, so that you can consume fish safely in its raw form, sashimi or sushi.
Their recommendation is that the fish is frozen In one of the following ways:
These guide lines only apply to fish that is less than 6 inches (15cm) thick, above this threshold it cannot be guaranteed that the freezing process eliminate the possible parasites.
The FDA recommends that fish is safest to consumed when cooked, heating fish kills more of the possible parasites then freezing it does.
reference source: Guidance compliance regulatory information
Sushi grade fish is usually sold in supermarkets marked as sushi grade fish. If you cant find any at your local supermarket then I would recommend that you get the freshest fish possible and do one of the above described freezing processes your self.
If you live in the United States of America you can order sushi grade fish online at Catalina Offshore Products and it will arrive at your door step frozen. This is a great service, I wish it applied world wide, I would order all the time!
There are several ways to tell if a fish is fresh, its best when all of these test coincide.
Eyes – the eyes should be bulgy round and clear with deep black pupils. Cloudy looking eyes is a sigh of decay, don’t buy a fish with cloudy looking eyes.
Smell – its should smell like sea air, if you get a strong smell of fish its no good.
Flesh – the flesh should firm and shiny springing back when you press it. Also should not feel sticky to the touch.
Gills – the gills should be a bright red color when fresh, usually they tend to turn a dark red brick color when old.
note: If one of the above conditions does not look right just move on to the next fish, you don’t have to buy it.