T Nation

Salmon/ Sushi Question

I ate sushi for the first time the other day and had some Salmon over rice pieces. It was awesome, texture like butter and no flavor at all. Question is, does anyone know how to get salmon like this? Where to buy or how to make it? I’ve only had the stuff out of the can which is nothing like it. If I could get my hand on this stuff it would be great. Thanks

Having worked in the fishing industry in Alaskaand having had FRESH sushi, I’d say you’re not going to want to try it on your own without a knowledgeable person helping you. Canned salmon is cooked (in the can), while sushi is raw. First, you need VERY fresh fish for sushi, then you also need to know what you’re looking for in the way of contaminated meat (parasites, tumors). I saw some pretty scary things in those fish. That’s what scares me at these sushi restaurants – I have no idea how good the guy in the kitchen is. The Japanes guys I worked with in Alaska were the sushi experts, and I agree, good sushi is a great experience. I’d leave the procuring and preparing to the experts.

Yeah, I love that Salmon, but I’ve never seen it anywhere like you describe except the sushi place. If anyone knows where to get it, that would be great.

I have a little different opinion on eating sushi in restaurants. I’m paranoid about people messing up my food, so for something as potentially volatile as sushi, I very much prefer to make it myself. The boys and I make a big plate of sushi about once a week. It’s easy, very cheap, and actually tastes better than what we can get at sushi bars around here. I’d also wager that it is less likely to send you to the emergency room. The trick is to get absolutely fresh fish and inspect it very carefully. This isn’t like picking out a steak that you’re going to throw on the grill. We use fresh salmon, and stick with the basic California roll. Sometimes we’ll boil up some squid, but the salmon rolls are the staple. Any odd discolorations, lumps, or odors in the fish should send up a red flag. And remember, while some places have professional sushi chefs, others just hire a round-eye and show him how to roll nori. I can do better at home. Get a good book on how to prepare the stuff and you should be fine.

Go to a fish market or call around until you find one that can get you sushi grade fish. That’s the best grade you can get, it’s inspected to make sure it’s safe to eat raw.
To prepare it you just cut it up. Steam some rice, put a chunk of salmon (or other fish) on a wad of rice and eat it. You can also dip the raw fish in soy with chopped ginger and a touch of wasabi in it and skip the rice.

A lot of major fish markets will actually say, “sushi grade” or “sashimi grade” on their fish. I’ve eaten raw fish from grocery stores with no problems, but I’m somewhat experienced with fish and I know what I’m looking for. If in doubt, I just dip the fish filet in boiling water for about ten seconds. It kills whatever sanitary issues the store has, and the raw meat inside is not likely to be contaminated. In fact, the traditional Japanese way of serving bonito is with the outside lightly charred and the inside raw. Quite tasty. One more thing about salmon. Most of what is in stores is farmed salmon. I think it has dubious value as far as omega-3 fatty acids. Wild run salmon is much more expensive and has almost a ruby red color to it, while the farmed salmon is a pale orange. Wild run salmon is so tasty compared to farmed salmon, that it is a completely different fish. Absolutely no fishy odor, sweet-tasting and less fat. The belly of a farmed salmon is disgustingly fatty–it looks like fish bacon.

Thanks for the information guys. Briders got me pretty worried about it though. Say I went to a fish market and asked for sushi grade salmon, and then inspected it for any kind of lumps, or other weird stuff, washed it thoroughly, and kept it cold, would I be ok?

Salmons great, but if there’s a chance even after all those precautions that I could screw it up, I’ll stick with canned tuna and salmon.

Kev, I didn’t know you were a t-man. Imagine, FRANZ having to take TRIBEX to get his t-levels up. What would cousin ARNOLD think? Call or e-mail me sometime. Mike has my number.

Nick. a friend and fan.

Kevin, I’ve eaten more sushi and sashimi, both in restaurants and made on my own, than I can ever tell you. I’ve never had a problem with it, either in the States or in Japan. On the other hand, I have had food poisoning from canned salmon. (There’s a thread on the subject, so if you do a search you can read about it.) Suffice to say that if I EVER eat canned salmon again, it’ll be red (not pink), and it won’t come from the Bumblebee corporation. Anyway, if you’re worried about what the guy behind the cutting board knows about fish, there’s a simple way to protect yourself. Just go to a sushi bar where you can see it being made in front of you, and make sure the guy making it is Japanese. Trust me, these people know more about fish than you or I will ever know in five lifetimes. (I’m sure my man Hyok will back me up on this.) It’s amazing. So put yourself in the hands of the experts, and sit back and have a nice dining experience.