I used to think sushi was disgusting. I’d never really tried it or anything, but that didn’t prevent me from passing judgement. Fish, like, any other meat was meant to be cooked. These thoughts were reinforced several times when I found myself at sushi restaurants with clients for lunch. I’d nibble around the edges of the food, maybe eating some seaweed, ginger, and rice with just a sliver of raw fish smothered in wasabi and soy sauce. I didn’t care for the stuff.
And then one day–out of nowhere–I got this incredible craving for sushi. I went easy at first, just going for some fairly simple rolls and completely avoiding nigiri and sashimi. Within a short time, though, the seaweed and rice just got in the way. I needed to eat raw fish.
This blog is for sushi lovers and will have restaurant reviews, tips for making sushi at home, and my experience eating various types of regular store-bought raw fish.
To get things started, let me just say that cooking sashimi is the easiest thing you will ever do. All you do is pull some fish out of your freezer and thaw it out. The first time I did this was with the package of Ahi Tuna shown above. I purchased it at Sam’s Club and I don’t think it was meant to be used for sushi. It wasn’t labeled as “sushi grade” or “sashimi grade” or anything like that. And after doing some research, I don’t think those labels mean very much anyway. I just pulled a couple of these tuna steaks out of the freezer and started thawing them.
Now if you follow the thawing directions, you are supposed to take the steaks out of their vacuum packing before thawing. That didn’t make much sense to me, but I read somewhere that certain bacteria would grow more readily when thawing in vacuum packaging. Since I was going to be eating the fish raw, I thought it prudent to follow the thawing recommendation and put the steaks in a new package.
If I had the time, I would have thawed the fish in the refrigerator, but I had a sushi craving and I wanted some raw fish right away, so I put the tuna steaks in a bowl of water to thaw. It didn’t take long. In less than half an hour, the ahi tuna was ready to go.
So there I was, with a chunk of raw tuna sitting on a plate. Since this was my first time, I was just a little nervous. I probably made two mistakes. First, I thawed the tuna a little too much. I like my sashimi nice and cold, but mine was closer to room temperature. Second, I pulled a plate out of the dishwasher and it was still hot from the dishwasher drying cycle. So my sashimi warmed for a few seconds on the plate. The worst thing that you can do to sashimi is to overcook it and that is what I was on the verge of doing.
Now it was time to dig in. I must admit that I wasn’t really prepared like I should have been. In a perfect scenario, I’d have some soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger to go with the fish, but there was no time for that now. I cut off a slice or two and tasted it. It wasn’t bad, despite being slightly over-warmed. That is how my home-made sashimi days started.
On my first home-made sashimi attempt, I also seared some of the tuna and put it on a salad. I needed to start slow, but after that first try, I was ready to dive in to the world of “home cooked” raw fish.