Online fish buyers want to find a high-quality product in general, but those looking to buy sushi grade fish online are looking for an even higher standard from their seafood provider. When you want to eat fish raw, there are a few additional product and business characteristics you’ll need to look for. This guide is designed to explain what the sushi grade means and how to find the best provider for your needs.
What is Sushi Grade, Anyway?
While it may come as a surprise, the term “sushi-grade fish” doesn’t mean much of anything. The phrase was created as a marketing tool, and experts say it has little to do with the product’s quality. In fact, the term has almost no significance with respect to consuming raw fish. The term “sashimi grade” is used interchangeably with “sushi grade,” but it also doesn’t mean much.
The only raw fish regulation companies are required to obey is that parasitic fish, such as salmon, must be frozen. This kills potential parasites prior to raw consumption. Salmon are often flash-frozen on the fishing boat immediately after being caught, as this helps to preserve both freshness and texture when the fish is eventually thawed.
While the “sushi grade” label does not mean much in terms of federal regulation, it is often used by companies to advertise their best-quality product. The term is used to indicate the product options a business feels confident can be eaten raw.
What to Look for When You Buy Sushi Grade Fish Online
When a business labels a fish as sushi grade, you’ll want to keep watch for a few telling signs. Among the most important is the business’s dedication to sustainability. Failure to sustainably source fish could point to larger issues in harvesting, such as cross-contamination, storage strategies, and freshness. This throws into question the product’s quality. When it comes to consuming raw fish, quality is not something you want to compromise.
When you order sushi grade fish online, check the web page to see if there is any explanation of the company’s use of the “sushi grade” label. If there is no additional information provided, we recommend calling the business before buying the product. While the label doesn’t mean much in terms of FDA regulation, it often means something to the companies who use it. Ask your provider to explain the difference between the sushi grade and standard options. If you have the time, also consider asking about whether the fish has been processed, how it was sourced, and if equipment is sanitized to prevent cross-contamination from non-sushi grade fish. After all, you will likely pay a premium for the grade; you want to get your money’s worth.
If you are able to buy your sushi grade fish in person, use your senses to assess the product’s quality. High-quality raw fish should never have a “fishy” odor, but rather a pleasant, salty ocean smell. The flesh should not be soft or flaky, and it should have a vibrant color. If you have any doubts about the fish’s quality, look elsewhere.
Where to Buy Sushi Grade Fish Online
Not all online seafood retailers offer sushi grade fish delivery. That said, the sushi grade does not mean much in terms of standardized quality. If your preferred online seller does not explicitly use the sushi grade label, they may still have product recommendations for those wanting to eat the fish raw. Read closely to see whether there are company-specific policies regarding the consumption of raw fish. If you’re really curious, contact customer service to ask if they recommend any of their product be consumed raw. If you can’t find anything about how to buy sushi grade fish online, try to find an exclusively sushi grade fish online store.
Enjoying Homemade Sushi is Easy
When you buy sushi grade fish online, you’ll need to do a bit of preparation prior to its arrival. If you can, schedule the delivery to arrive on the day you plan to enjoy the food. Raw fish is highly perishable, and the longer it waits in your refrigerator, the more chance it has of spoiling. Whether you’re making sushi, sashimi, ceviche, or crudo, be sure to savor every bite of your fresh, raw fish!