Sashimi Grade: Sockeye Salmon vs. Tuna

Sun, 07/17/2016
Fish 411

Sashimi-grade fish is fish that can be eaten raw. Some of the most popular raw-fish dishes are sashimi (sliced raw fish dipped in soy sauce and wasabi), poké (cubed raw fish prepared with Asian seasoning), nigiri (sliced raw fish served atop rectangles of sushi rice), and ceviche (diced raw fish quickly cured with citrus).

Sockeye salmon must be frozen at a temperature of -40°C in a certified facility in order to be considered sashimi grade. Freezing the fish at such a cold temperature ensures that any possible contamination the salmon may have come into contact with will be eliminated. This isn’t a concern if you’re cooking your salmon as the heat from the cooking process also eliminates any possible contamination. It’s key to remember that we shouldn’t eat freshly caught salmon raw; however, once it’s been frozen and thawed, it’s safe to consume without cooking.

Unlike salmon, tuna isn’t considered to be at risk for parasites or contamination since its skin is virtually impenetrable. For this reason, tuna doesn’t need to be frozen prior to selling it for raw consumption. We always suggest buying the freshest tuna and consuming it on the day you purchase it, though, for maximum taste and the best possible sashimi experience.