There are quite a number of reasons why people may shy away from preparing raw fish or sushi at home. One is that many are still very skeptical about consuming uncooked fish. Everyone knows that there are many risks associated with eating raw fish, but when it comes to eating it at a restaurant, all bets are off, and people will gladly indulge.
There is also the problem of getting your hand on the seafood required to make the dish. In America, many struggle to get fresh seafood, and those who even know where to look usually have no confidence when it comes to selecting a product they think should be fresh. This usually staunches their urge to even eat fish at all, especially raw.
Below are some tips that can help when you want to prepare raw fish within the four walls of your home:
- Evaluate the fish market: There are many fish markets in the US, but two of the best are Osakana and The Lobster Place. The Lobster Place is a very great market where fish is handled properly. Fish fillets are presented on aluminum trays with abundant crushed ice and good drainage. The fillets are also arranged in such a way that their flesh touches minimally. Whole fishes are buried in ice, and the air is always clean, which is a testament to how clean the place is.
- Purchase whole, fresh marine fish but avoid cod: Even if you’re visiting a clean fish market, it is best to be wary of buying fish fillets not designed for raw use. It is better to get a whole fish then fillet it yourself rather than going straight for those that have been filleted. This is because it is easier to determine the freshness of whole fish. Check for bright red gills, bulbous and clear eyes, then flesh that’s firm and unblemished.
- Keep the fish cold: Keeping fish cold is the best way to reduce the risk of parasites moving from the guts to the flesh. It is believed that rigor mortis also affects fish flesh, so it is advised that you refrigerate your fish before and after filleting.
- Scale and do the gutting yourself: If you buy a whole fish and you don’t trust the market, scale and gut the fish yourself but ensure you do it in a clean area and be sure to cleanse the blood and gut well with running water.
- Keep an eye out for worms: Look out for worms as you gut or slice your fish. Do this even if the fish was initially frozen, as freezing only kills parasites rather than removing them. Anisakid larvae can be brown or white in color and are about a centimeter long, while broad fish tapeworm larvae are encased in a cyst.