Sashimi is a popular Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced raw fish, typically served with soy sauce and wasabi. It is often confused with sushi, which includes vinegared rice and can be made with cooked or raw ingredients. Sashimi, however, focuses solely on the freshness and flavor of the fish, making it a true delicacy for seafood lovers.
10 Types of Fish to Try as Sashimi
Tuna (Maguro, Bluefin, Akami, Chutoro, Otoro)
Tuna is one of the most popular choices for sashimi due to its rich, buttery flavor and firm texture. There are various cuts of tuna, each with its unique taste and texture.
Akami is the leanest part and offers a clean, mild taste. Chutoro is slightly fattier, providing a richer flavor, while Otoro is the fattiest portion, melting in your mouth with its intense flavor.
Yellowfin and Bigeye
Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna, also known as Ahi Tuna, are other popular choices for sashimi. They have a slightly lighter flavor compared to Bluefin tuna but still offer a delicious taste and firm texture. These types of tuna are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making them a healthy option.
Salmon is another favorite for sashimi lovers due to its smooth texture and rich flavor. Its vibrant orange color and marbled fat make it a visually appealing choice as well.
Salmon is high in B-vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, offering numerous health benefits.
Yellowtail, or Hamachi, is a light pink fish with a mild sweet flavor and slightly firm texture. It is an excellent option for those who prefer leaner sashimi. Yellowtail is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy choice.
Mackerel (Shime Saba)
Mackerel is an excellent option for sashimi due to its solid, oil-rich flesh and rich, creamy flavor. Its complex taste pairs well with delicate Japanese sauces, and its high concentration of fatty acids provides numerous health benefits.
However, selecting and preparing mackerel for sashimi requires knowledge and skill to ensure the best taste and quality.
Fluke, also known as Hirame, is a flatfish with a delicate flavor and firm texture. Its translucent white color makes it an attractive option for sashimi platters. Fluke is best served in thin slices and is high in collagen, which promotes skin health.
Although not technically a fish, scallops are a popular choice for sashimi due to their soft texture and light taste. Raw scallop, or Hotate, pairs well with a drop of citrus and a small amount of soy sauce. This combination creates a melt-in-your-mouth experience that is sure to delight your taste buds.
Katsuo (Bonito, Skipjack Tuna)
Katsuo, also known as Bonito or Skipjack Tuna, is another option for sashimi lovers. With its firm texture and slightly smoky flavor, Katsuo is often lightly seared on the outside and served raw in the center. This preparation method enhances its unique taste and adds an interesting contrast of textures.
Sanma (Pacific Saury)
Sanma, or Pacific Saury, is a seasonal fish that is typically available in the fall. Its rich, oily flesh and distinctive flavor make it a sought-after choice for sashimi enthusiasts.
Due to its higher fat content, Sanma is best enjoyed with a touch of grated ginger and a splash of soy sauce to balance its robust taste.
Sea Bass (Suzuki)
Sea Bass, or Suzuki, is another delicious option for sashimi with its tender, flaky texture and mild flavor. Its firm flesh makes it easy to slice and serve, making it a great choice for those new to sashimi preparation. Sea Bass is also rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, adding to its health benefits.
K. Halibut (Engawa)
Halibut, or Engawa, is a flatfish with a mild flavor and firm texture. Its white, slightly translucent flesh makes it an attractive option for sashimi platters. Halibut is best served in thin slices and is high in collagen, which promotes skin health.
Recipe Ideas for Your Sashimi
Rice Bowl Toppings
Create a delicious rice bowl by topping steamed rice with your favorite sashimi selections, avocado, cucumber, and a drizzle of soy sauce. This simple yet satisfying meal allows you to enjoy the flavors of sashimi in a more filling way.
Jalapeno Seven Spice
Add a kick to your sashimi by mixing thinly sliced jalapenos with Japanese seven-spice powder and a touch of soy sauce. This spicy condiment pairs well with the rich flavors of tuna and salmon.
Soy Orange Pepper
For a citrusy twist, combine soy sauce with freshly squeezed orange juice, grated orange zest, and freshly ground black pepper. This bright, tangy sauce complements the delicate flavors of white fish like fluke and halibut.
Create a tropical-inspired dip by mixing diced pineapple, avocado, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. This refreshing guacamole pairs well with the rich flavors of yellowtail and salmon sashimi.
Whisk together sour cream, fresh dill, chives, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt for a creamy, herbed sauce that pairs perfectly with scallop sashimi.
Transform your sashimi into a Hawaiian-inspired poke bowl by marinating your fish in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, and sesame seeds. Serve over rice with your favorite toppings like avocado, edamame, and seaweed salad.
Tips and Tricks for Enjoying Sashimi
Traditionally, sashimi is eaten with chopsticks, but feel free to use a fork if you’re more comfortable. When preparing sashimi at home, be sure to use a sharp knife to ensure clean, precise cuts.
Soy sauce and wasabi are classic accompaniments for sashimi, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other flavors like ponzu sauce, yuzu kosho, or even flavored salts.
Sake, Japanese beer, or green tea are popular choices to serve with sashimi. These beverages help cleanse the palate between bites, allowing you to fully appreciate the subtle flavors of each type of fish.
How To Prepare your Own Sashimi
Sashimi is a traditional Japanese dish that showcases the natural flavors of high-quality, raw fish. Preparing sashimi at home can be a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to follow proper safety and handling guidelines to ensure a delicious and safe meal. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare sashimi, including tips for safely storing and handling the fish.
Choose the right fish
The first step in preparing sashimi is selecting the appropriate fish. Look for “sashimi-grade” or “sushi-grade” fish, which indicates that it has been handled and stored according to strict safety standards.
Common fish used for sashimi include tuna, salmon, and yellowtail. You can also use other seafood like squid, scallops, or shrimp.
Store the fish properly
Maintaining a cool temperature is crucial for preserving the quality of raw fish. According to the FDA, raw fish should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, or moisture-proof paper and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. If you plan to use frozen fish, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator or under cold, clean, running water.
Prepare your workspace
Before starting, ensure that your hands, knives, and cutting surfaces are clean and sanitized. This helps prevent cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods.
Slice the fish
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the fish into thin, even pieces. There are various slicing techniques, such as hira-zukuri (rectangular slice) for salmon, tuna, and kingfish, or usu-zukuri (thin slivers) for squid and narrow fish. The goal is to create uniform slices with a consistent texture.
Arrange the sashimi
Once the fish is sliced, arrange the pieces on a plate or serving platter. Traditional accompaniments include shredded daikon radish, pickled ginger, and wasabi.
Serve with dipping sauce
To enjoy sashimi, dip each piece into a small dish of soy sauce mixed with a touch of wasabi. Eat the sashimi in one bite and cleanse your palate with a piece of pickled ginger between different types of fish.
When preparing sashimi at home, it’s essential to follow proper food safety precautions. Always wash your hands before handling food and after touching raw fish. Keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods, and clean and sanitize surfaces and equipment after use.
What kind of fish is used for sashimi?
Sashimi typically uses fish such as tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, but can also include other seafood like squid, scallops, and sea urchin.
What usually comes in sashimi?
Sashimi usually consists of thinly sliced raw fish or seafood served with accompaniments like shredded daikon radish, soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.
Can any raw fish be sashimi?
Not all raw fish can be considered sashimi, as the USDA and FDA require a “parasite destruction guarantee” for fish to be suitable for raw consumption, with some exemptions like bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and farmed salmon.
What is the most common fish used in sushi?
The most common fish used in sushi are tuna and salmon, often labeled as sushi-grade at restaurants and markets.