Sashimi raw fish

Raw, very thinly sliced fish or even seafood is called sashimi in Japan. Especially tuna, salmon or mackerel are often used for sashimi. I have eaten very good sashimi in many Japanese restaurants, but the photos for this article here were all taken during a trip to the Japanese sea in a hotel restaurant.

Sashimi raw fish

Sashimi raw fish

Sashimi beautifully presented

Sashimi beautifully served

Sushi vs. Sashimi

Sushi and sashimi are often confused with each other, or assumed to be the same thing. Both dishes are very different. Sushi is a preparation of rice with vinegar, which is combined with various ingredients. It does not matter if there is fish, seafood, avocado or cucumber in the sushi. From time to time you can even find sushi with chicken or beef.

Sashimi, on the other hand, is very thinly sliced fish served without rice or other accompaniments and is therefore quite healthy. By the way, the word "sashimi" translates to "pierced body", which is an allusion to the fish.

Shellfish like abalone can also be eaten as sashimi

Squid as sashimi is also very tasty

What is sashimi-grade fish?

Since sashimi is eaten raw, the fish must be very fresh and of high quality so you don’t get stomach problems. Sashimi quality fish is very fresh fish that can be eaten raw without hesitation. However, you should generally buy fish only from dealers you trust. Because just because a label says "sashimi quality" doesn’t mean it can be eaten raw, because you don’t know how it was stored during delivery, for example.

Which types of sashimi are most popular?

Tuna, salmon, squid and mackerel is often used for sashimi. There are also many other types of fish and seafood that are super suitable for this purpose. Here you can find an article about the most popular and most frequently used fish species in Japanese cuisine.

Maguro (tuna)

Tuna sashimi can be found in almost every restaurant. It is probably the most popular variety, which comes in different expensive versions. "Akami" is the standard variant, here the red, firm meat of the tuna is used. Toro" is a bit more expensive and of higher quality. The fatty belly meat of tuna is used, which has a buttery taste. Toro is further subdivided into Chutoro and Otoro, with Otoro being somewhat higher quality and more expensive.

Sake (salmon)

The tender, fatty flesh of salmon is also very popular as sashimi and is called "sake".

Saba (mackerel)

You should be especially careful with this sashimi, because the oily meat spoils quite quickly. Saba tastes especially good when combined with scallions and grated ginger.

Ika (squid)

Squid meat can be quite tough, so this sashimi is an exception and is sometimes served cooked. It is also a very popular sashimi variant and tastes fresh and slightly sweetish.

Avabi (sea snails)

Not only from fish you can make sashimi, also sea snails and mussels can be used well. But avabi probably don’t taste good to everyone. I’ve already tried them and they are quite "hagotai", so quite chewy and a bit difficult to eat. Also they don’t have the same umami taste as salmon.

How to eat sashimi?

Sashimi is dipped into small bowls filled with soy sauce using chopsticks and then eaten. As with sushi, many varieties are served with grated ginger and wasabi. However, you put this directly on the sashimi and don’t mix it into the soy sauce first.

Salmon is also popular in Germany

Sashimi in Germany

Since very fresh fish has to be used, it’s not that easy to get sashimi in Germany, and when you do find it, it’s unfortunately quite expensive. Northern Germany is also by the sea, but the fish is rather eaten pickled (like Matjes) instead of being eaten raw. In Japan, however, it is normal to eat raw fish, and you can find sashimi in many restaurants.

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Meow, did I get your attention?? I’m hungry, but Ryu and Matthias don’t feed me. Please you give me delicious onigiri if you liked this post.

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