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Old 09-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
Fried Oyster
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Default How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Anyone ever tried a homebrew method of freezing fish quickly and cold enough to make parasite free sushi?

Considering how cold you have to go, and how quick the freezing process has to be.

Maybe a dry-ice method?

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Old 09-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

I'm not sure the fish really care how many parasites their bait has.....
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Originally Posted by Fried Oyster View Post
Anyone ever tried a homebrew method of freezing fish quickly and cold enough to make parasite free sushi?

Considering how cold you have to go, and how quick the freezing process has to be.

Maybe a dry-ice method?
When I prepare it for sushi I first look over the fish. You may not want to have sushi from a salmon with any growths, holes in its head, scars on it's flesh, or anything else that may seem different. I also prefer the brighter fish.


If I feel that the fish was healthy I fillet it as normal. Then I shave thin strips with about 45° angle starting at the head. I place these slices on parchment and put in the freezer. They freeze in about 25 minutes and I leave them in for 3-5 hours. I've done it like this about 10 times and no one has gotten sick yet?
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Without looking over my ServSafe booklet but going off my memory the fish has to be frozen and kept at 20 F for a minimum of 20 days, 10 days if its kept at 10 degrees or so. Once again this is just off my memory which is not all that good.

Most household freezers usually dont even go that low.
Any specific fish you are thinking of turning into sushi?

Ive had springers, albacore, bluefin (caught one last year and one this year hence my signature line) summer steelhead as well as fall TULE all raw without being frozen before. I think most of it is how you handle the fish once its killed and then how its dressed and processed into food. Least favorite of these species for raw consumption was the summer steelhead. With no ill effects from any that consumed the various species should I say. Not saying that this is the safe way to eat raw fish.

Top of the list was bluefin from last year and this year, followed closely by springer. Still have my fingers crossed for a yellowtail.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

For salmon, I freeze it at -18 F or colder for a week minimum.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

I thought what was most important was getting it bled and cooled down on ice right away after catch?
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

I'd play it safe and leave sushi up to the experts. It would really suck if even one person got sick. Hit Uwajimaya for the fixins and toss yours on the barbie
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

more than once ive straight cut large chunks out of my salmon fresh out the river on the bank and enjoyed! hope I don't got anything living in me. than again 3 years ago I was processing my deer and ate some meat from the back strap raw and probably ate too much at that. a friend of mine is a scientist/ doctor and he says the human stomach is best used to break down raw meats, hes got a long explanation for it but ive heard it a lot

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Old 09-19-2013, 05:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

i will not be eating raw salmon anytime soon
read this

The short answer for the average person is...There is nothing to worry about. Parasites at the sushi bar are essentially non-existent. Continue on happily with your life and save your energy for worrying about terrorists, mutual nuclear annihilation, and if Paula Abdul is on drugs or just clinically insane; y'know, the important stuff. For the paranoid and hypochondriacs, read on...

Nematodes (a.k.a. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms,) infect the body and become clinically known as anisakiasis. This is the infection of the body by the anisakis worm larva, a type of nematode. They only grow to about an inch in length, and within 12 hours of contracting one you would have terrible stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. It eventually moves to the intestine and sets up house. Survival in the human digestive tract is “iffy.” Most nematodes will die within 24 hours, but resistant ones can last longer and actually burrow into the digestive tract before they are finally overcome by the digestive process. In countries where eating raw, untreated fish is common, this malady is easily diagnosed and treated. In the U.S. where it is a rare occurrence, contracting anisakiasis is often misdiagnosed as appendicitis or an ulcer. Since the body of the larva has a chemically resistant exterior, treatment basically consists of going in, with a tiny camera, with a tiny flashlight attached, and a really long tweezers... if you get my drift. Unfortunately, there is no medicinal way to get rid of them.

Flatworms (Flukes and tapeworms) are a group of parasites that infest marine mammals and fish. They're more “primitive” than nematodes, having only one hole as the only way in and out for their digestive system. Flukes don't even have a circulatory system. Flukes do have the ability, after being ingested, to use the bloodstream to travel throughout the host's body and to travel to other organs. They range in size from 1mm to 70mm but for the most part are considered as being microscopic. With over 6000 different types, flukes are everywhere in our ecosystem; avoiding them is impossible. E.g., you've heard of “Swimmers Itch”... it's flukes burrowing into a swimmer's skin. Tapeworms are a common parasite in freshwater fish and so any type of raw freshwater fish should be avoided. The good news with flukes and tapeworms is that most can be treated with simple medication.

Don't let anybody fool you: you cannot freeze fish at home to kill parasites, not even if you freeze it for months. This process simply puts the parasite to sleep until it is thawed. This cryogenic suspension was graphically demonstrated to me personally when some whole frozen bluegill (a freshwater type of fish) were thawed in my sink, and they proceeded to snap back to life and flop around the sink until they were humanely dispatched. These bluegills had been in my freezer for several months before this shocking event occurred. Needless to say, the even lower brain-stemmed parasites they might have had would be equally surprised at their new awakening. Another problem with home freezing is the freezing process takes too long and microscopic cell walls are damaged in this slow method making the fish taste fishy and have a poor texture.

Younger fish are less likely to have contracted parasites just due to the fact that they haven't been around a long time to catch them. Fish coming from the Pacific Ocean are more likely to have parasites than fish from the Atlantic Ocean because the Pacific has a higher population of marine mammals and so they spread parasites that they contract. The Atlantic has fewer marine mammals and therefore fewer parasites. Wild caught salmon are almost always found with parasites while their farmed cousins rarely are found with parasites. Most incidences involving a person contracting a parasite from sushi are from people preparing it at home and eating raw, wild caught salmon.

In all of my years of preparing fish, raw, cooked, marinated, you name it, we're talking about thousands of fish in my lifetime, I have only found two parasites in my fish, one was dead in a frozen snapper the other was alive in a fresh wild salmon filet.

Once again it looks like I have drawn a sad picture for the sushi eater striving to enjoy his meal but let me add this.

Let's start with the fact that fish are inspected by the initial processor to find the best specimens right at the start. You can translate that into “Let's find the fish we can charge the most for first, and get them out of the masses and treat them better.” When this batch of fish is set aside a couple of these fish will be sampled for parasites. If they are deemed as having low to no noticeable parasites they are then sent to be processed and frozen with a nitrogen blast freezer.

The FDA has required all fish (with the exception of tuna) destined to be served raw in the U.S. to be frozen at a minimum of minus four degrees Fahrenheit for seven days or minus thirty-one degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen hours. Either process will kill any and all parasites inside of a fish. Freezing in this method happens so quickly that the ice crystals that form are very short and don't pierce through cell walls, and so the fish can legally be sold as “Fresh.” Home freezers cannot freeze this quickly and so not only do parasites survive the process but the long time lapse of freezing creates long ice crystals that pierce cell wall after cell wall as they grow. Freeze a strawberry or onion in your home freezer and let it thaw and you will get a very dramatic example of what damage can occur.

You might ask why tuna are mostly free of parasites while something like catfish are not safe to eat raw. It's simple if you think of it this way. Tuna are like F-16 fighter jets, and catfish are like New York City subway cars. F-16s are rarely in the area that spray-painting graffiti vandals are found and even if a tagger saw an F-16 flying by he wouldn't have a good chance of catching it and spraying it. A New York Subway car on the other hand, is found in the relative vicinity of vandals and doesn't actually put up much of a fight getting away. Larger species of tuna are considered so low in parasitic incidence that the FDA does not require them to be frozen to kill parasites, however most are voluntarily frozen anyway just for shipping, freshness, and safety's sake. Also, most parasites are found close to the skin's surface, so sushi that comes from deep inside a fish like “maguro” is almost guaranteed to be parasite free.

If you want to make sushi at home and want to be confident that your fish is free from the danger of parasites, ask your fishmonger for “Sashimi Grade” fish. These are fish that go through all of these FDA measures to guarantee your safety. Not only are they inspected and found to be at least very low in parasites, but then they are frozen to a point where no hidden parasites could survive.

Your chances of becoming infected with a parasite in a U.S. sushi bar are so low that it could reasonably be dismissed as an issue in our modern times. Sushi in other countries is still at risk, but many of these other countries are picking up our “Freeze the parasites to death” program. Even sushi bars in Japan, with their obsession of the freshest seafood possible, are becoming safer to eat at.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:37 AM   #10
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JMURPHY the statements considering the FDA's requirements are not correct, or at the very least outdated and no longer true.

I'm something of an expert in critical controls of seafood processing. The FDA does not claim that ALL fish have a parasite hazard or that ALL tuna are parasite free. In addition the explanation of why tuna are parasite free is absurd and flat out dumb.

In addition "sashimi grade" is a qualitative discernment, in no way does it mean "safe to eat raw".

The perpetuation of misinformation is dangerous and irresponsible.

I know you did not write the opinion, not on your butt about it. Just reminding people to know your source before listening to any "facts".

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Old 09-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #11
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Originally Posted by RoughRider View Post
For salmon, I freeze it at -18 F or colder for a week minimum.

Yeah. HOW DO YOU DO IT?
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

So...starting off...

1. Once you catch the fish it needs to be gutted and cooled quickly.
2. When processing, clean surface and clean tools. A lot of food born illness outbreaks will come from equipment or improper handling, not the fish it self.
3. Get a high quality freezer and lower the temp as far as possible. Leave the fish in there for a week. (I like to have it vacuum sealed).
4. Buy dry ice and a smaller cooler. Pack fish in the dry ice and leave in cooler IN the freezer for 24 hours. Don't worry the cooler and freezer will not blow up. It will slowly vent.
5. When processing fish for eating, again make sure clean surface and hands.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Originally Posted by chef serg View Post
fall TULE all raw .

What possessed you? Sounds like a fear factor stunt.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Originally Posted by Fried Oyster View Post
Yeah. HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Either get a deep freezer, or bring a piece of your fish to a sushi restaurant and see if you can borrow a little space in their freezer (that's what I do).
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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What possessed you? Sounds like a fear factor stunt.
Honestly I don't know.
Maybe I got a little Andrew Zimmerman of Bizzare foods, or maybe it was to see if it would kill me, if not I would have bragging rights (lol)
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

I have a family member who apprenticed as a sushi maker in Japan before coming to the main land . I caught a bright chinook bled it gutted it instantly took it home filleted it and put it on ice for a half hour or less before going over to BBQ at his house . He cut a strip off the fillet and eat it raw and said it was sashimi grade salmon and that the wild salmon are best because the fat and they excersize more than hatchery salmon ... I said ok and thought he was crazy but I'm sure it wasn't his first rodeo
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:55 AM   #17
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

But than again if you can smoke a mean salmon I'd make a Philly roll
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:55 AM   #18
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Post Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Oyster View Post
Anyone ever tried a homebrew method of freezing fish quickly and cold enough to make parasite free sushi?

Considering how cold you have to go, and how quick the freezing process has to be.

Maybe a dry-ice method?
Sorry I know this comment isn't helping you.
I don't do Sushi. NO WAY! No raw Salmon for this wimp. One thing I never intend to try either. Way to many Parasites!
If it ain't cooked I ain't eatin it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Sorry I know this comment isn't helping you.
I don't do Sushi. NO WAY! No raw Salmon for this wimp. One thing I never intend to try either. Way to many Parasites!
If it ain't cooked I ain't eatin it.
Oh how you're missing out. Sashimi is probably my favorite way of eating Salmon. And beyond salmon, if you try a good piece of Bluefin Tuna toro you'll be in love. It melts in your mouth like butter.

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Old 09-19-2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

I'm pretty sure the "sushi rule" according to my last food safety training is -15 for seven days. Hope that helps
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #21
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I'm pretty sure the "sushi rule" according to my last food safety training is -15 for seven days. Hope that helps
Americans don't know what real sushi is !
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #22
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

There's American sushi and Japanese sushi , 2 different beasts . I guarantee people in Japan are not eating Vegas and California rolls .
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #23
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Americans don't know what real sushi is !
I completely disagree. There are several traditional Japanese sushi places in Portland alone. However, you are not totally wrong. Most Americans really don't know, but many do.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #24
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Can you hook me up with the names of these places. I love sushi and would like to try it out!!

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I completely disagree. There are several traditional Japanese sushi places in Portland alone. However, you are not totally wrong. Most Americans really don't know, but many do.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #25
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Here is some that I made at home from a beautiful fall fish caught at B10.

It was cleaned, we kept the nicest grade (red, fat content, etc) and labeled it sushi, vac packed, then frozen at -2 degrees for a few weeks. Thawed it in cold water for the better part of the day then carved it up.

This was my first attempt and it was delicious. I made salmon poke, salmon belly nigiri, & philly rolls for the kids. I know that the knife work on the nigiri isn't right but still tasted awesome!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #26
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Originally Posted by ShutUp&Fish View Post
Sorry I know this comment isn't helping you.
I don't do Sushi. NO WAY! No raw Salmon for this wimp. One thing I never intend to try either. Way to many Parasites!
If it ain't cooked I ain't eatin it.
Oh man you are missing out. Sashimi is sooo good!

Sushi & Maki in Hillsboro is authentic and so amazingly good.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:46 PM   #27
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My favorite sushi is the Lion King Roll made at a Sushi Restaurant close to where I live.....basically it's a California roll topped with baked salmon sliced thin on top, Japanese Teriyaki sauce, green onion and Tobiko..... yummm. Better than raw

sorry it's a bit blurry....

Last edited by Pirate; 09-19-2013 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:57 PM   #28
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Can you hook me up with the names of these places. I love sushi and would like to try it out!!
I can get you some names. Though not a small traditional style place, my favorite is Sinju. But you have to sit at the sushi bar and ask the chef for his recommendations. Don't just order from the menu.

Though I like Fuji's, its not traditional at all. Remember, if they have a sushi tram, it's not a traditional style place.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:07 PM   #29
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I can get you some names. Though not a small traditional style place, my favorite is Sinju. But you have to sit at the sushi bar and ask the chef for his recommendations. Don't just order from the menu.

Though I like Fuji's, its not traditional at all. Remember, if they have a sushi tram, it's not a traditional style place.
Sinju is a really nice restaurant but way over priced.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #30
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Sinju is a really nice restaurant but way over priced.
For quality Sushi, I usually only go to Yama Sushi Bar in downtown. It's on 10th and Lovejoy, with more reasonable prices and portion sizes than Sinju IMO. Plus they have a large array of specials and unique rolls you won't find anywhere else.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:46 PM   #31
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Sushi Train in Tualatin....very reasonable prices.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:28 PM   #32
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I've had Sinju and it was good. I also like to go to Umi in Tigard/Lake O area. Good quality fish! I'm always on the lookout for new places that are legit!! Heading over to the siletz next week to fish. If we bonk any nice fish I'll post up some more sushi pics!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #33
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

First of all.
To whoever post that large block of text about the nematodes. Clearly this was not published by a physician. You will not get sick in a matter of hours. Whipworm, Hookworm and Ringworm are all easily treated and usually just cause upset stomach and minor anemia. In fact, all three are now commonly used around the globe as a therapy plan for certain auto immune diseases and can be purchased online and self administered. Tapeworm would be the most severe and even then would take weeks before truly noticing the problem. The nematodes are fairly easily treated if contracted and if you have selected the proper meat to consume raw are pretty rarely an issue. Bottom line you should be slicing your salmon sushi thin enough that you would see signs of a worm infection prior to consumption.

I say go for it. pick the nicest freshest fish you catch, bleed, gut and ice it. Slice it thin, serve over rice. Enjoy.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:26 PM   #34
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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I can get you some names. Though not a small traditional style place, my favorite is Sinju. But you have to sit at the sushi bar and ask the chef for his recommendations. Don't just order from the menu.

Though I like Fuji's, its not traditional at all. Remember, if they have a sushi tram, it's not a traditional style place.
Sinju is good, service is slow. I've been there a few times. I think they're into year two of their business. When it's slow, she watches you eat, as if wondering if everything is okay. Awkward, but sweet, w/ good intentions.

Sushi Mazi on SE Division is simply awesome. And expensive.

I agree that Sushi Train in Tualatin is awesome. It is a sushi track, but it is worlds above any other sushi track I've ever seen. It's slightly more expensive, but it's a small place, and they're making it pretty much on the spot as it's picked off. MUCH higher quality than any other sushi track I've ever seen, and you can order custom.This is my all time favorite.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:06 AM   #35
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Without looking over my ServSafe booklet but going off my memory the fish has to be frozen and kept at 20 F for a minimum of 20 days, 10 days if its kept at 10 degrees or so. Once again this is just off my memory which is not all that good.

Most household freezers usually dont even go that low.
Any specific fish you are thinking of turning into sushi?
Just FYI, typical household freezers should default at 0 degrees F, which coincidentally (or maybe not) is the recommended temperature for storing ice cream and frozen raw meats. I would check with a thermometer to be certain, but chances are everyone's freezer at home can reach sub-zero.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:39 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by finnedwonder View Post
Bottom line you should be slicing your salmon sushi thin enough that you would see signs of a worm infection prior to consumption.

I say go for it. pick the nicest freshest fish you catch, bleed, gut and ice it. Slice it thin, serve over rice. Enjoy.
I follow this guy's thinking. If it doesn't look right, I don't eat it raw (or at all for that matter).

Another really good sushi place is Syun Isakaya in Hillsboro of all places.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:20 PM   #37
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Tapeworm diet is all the rage in Hollywood right now! Cheers and see you when you get out of the bathroom!
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #38
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http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/41/9/1297.full
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:49 PM   #39
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Either get a deep freezer, or bring a piece of your fish to a sushi restaurant and see if you can borrow a little space in their freezer (that's what I do).
-15f is very hard to do. Most commercial freezers hold around 0. Our blast freezer at work freezes to -20 but requires 300 horse power compressors and 2000 pounds of ammonia.

Sent from my Motorola Flip phone.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:09 PM   #40
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Without looking over my ServSafe booklet but going off my memory the fish has to be frozen and kept at 20 F for a minimum of 20 days, 10 days if its kept at 10 degrees or so. Once again this is just off my memory which is not all that good.

Most household freezers usually dont even go that low.
Any specific fish you are thinking of turning into sushi?

Ive had springers, albacore, bluefin (caught one last year and one this year hence my signature line) summer steelhead as well as fall TULE all raw without being frozen before. I think most of it is how you handle the fish once its killed and then how its dressed and processed into food. Least favorite of these species for raw consumption was the summer steelhead. With no ill effects from any that consumed the various species should I say. Not saying that this is the safe way to eat raw fish.

Top of the list was bluefin from last year and this year, followed closely by springer. Still have my fingers crossed for a yellowtail.



Ditto above. That is the home method. Or a way better freezer ie ammonia blast freezer. If there is a better way to do it quicker please share I'd like to know
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:12 PM   #41
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i will not be eating raw salmon anytime soon
read this

The short answer for the average person is...There is nothing to worry about. Parasites at the sushi bar are essentially non-existent. Continue on happily with your life and save your energy for worrying about terrorists, mutual nuclear annihilation, and if Paula Abdul is on drugs or just clinically insane; y'know, the important stuff. For the paranoid and hypochondriacs, read on...

Nematodes (a.k.a. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms,) infect the body and become clinically known as anisakiasis. This is the infection of the body by the anisakis worm larva, a type of nematode. They only grow to about an inch in length, and within 12 hours of contracting one you would have terrible stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. It eventually moves to the intestine and sets up house. Survival in the human digestive tract is “iffy.” Most nematodes will die within 24 hours, but resistant ones can last longer and actually burrow into the digestive tract before they are finally overcome by the digestive process. In countries where eating raw, untreated fish is common, this malady is easily diagnosed and treated. In the U.S. where it is a rare occurrence, contracting anisakiasis is often misdiagnosed as appendicitis or an ulcer. Since the body of the larva has a chemically resistant exterior, treatment basically consists of going in, with a tiny camera, with a tiny flashlight attached, and a really long tweezers... if you get my drift. Unfortunately, there is no medicinal way to get rid of them.

Flatworms (Flukes and tapeworms) are a group of parasites that infest marine mammals and fish. They're more “primitive” than nematodes, having only one hole as the only way in and out for their digestive system. Flukes don't even have a circulatory system. Flukes do have the ability, after being ingested, to use the bloodstream to travel throughout the host's body and to travel to other organs. They range in size from 1mm to 70mm but for the most part are considered as being microscopic. With over 6000 different types, flukes are everywhere in our ecosystem; avoiding them is impossible. E.g., you've heard of “Swimmers Itch”... it's flukes burrowing into a swimmer's skin. Tapeworms are a common parasite in freshwater fish and so any type of raw freshwater fish should be avoided. The good news with flukes and tapeworms is that most can be treated with simple medication.

Don't let anybody fool you: you cannot freeze fish at home to kill parasites, not even if you freeze it for months. This process simply puts the parasite to sleep until it is thawed. This cryogenic suspension was graphically demonstrated to me personally when some whole frozen bluegill (a freshwater type of fish) were thawed in my sink, and they proceeded to snap back to life and flop around the sink until they were humanely dispatched. These bluegills had been in my freezer for several months before this shocking event occurred. Needless to say, the even lower brain-stemmed parasites they might have had would be equally surprised at their new awakening. Another problem with home freezing is the freezing process takes too long and microscopic cell walls are damaged in this slow method making the fish taste fishy and have a poor texture.

Younger fish are less likely to have contracted parasites just due to the fact that they haven't been around a long time to catch them. Fish coming from the Pacific Ocean are more likely to have parasites than fish from the Atlantic Ocean because the Pacific has a higher population of marine mammals and so they spread parasites that they contract. The Atlantic has fewer marine mammals and therefore fewer parasites. Wild caught salmon are almost always found with parasites while their farmed cousins rarely are found with parasites. Most incidences involving a person contracting a parasite from sushi are from people preparing it at home and eating raw, wild caught salmon.

In all of my years of preparing fish, raw, cooked, marinated, you name it, we're talking about thousands of fish in my lifetime, I have only found two parasites in my fish, one was dead in a frozen snapper the other was alive in a fresh wild salmon filet.

Once again it looks like I have drawn a sad picture for the sushi eater striving to enjoy his meal but let me add this.

Let's start with the fact that fish are inspected by the initial processor to find the best specimens right at the start. You can translate that into “Let's find the fish we can charge the most for first, and get them out of the masses and treat them better.” When this batch of fish is set aside a couple of these fish will be sampled for parasites. If they are deemed as having low to no noticeable parasites they are then sent to be processed and frozen with a nitrogen blast freezer.

The FDA has required all fish (with the exception of tuna) destined to be served raw in the U.S. to be frozen at a minimum of minus four degrees Fahrenheit for seven days or minus thirty-one degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen hours. Either process will kill any and all parasites inside of a fish. Freezing in this method happens so quickly that the ice crystals that form are very short and don't pierce through cell walls, and so the fish can legally be sold as “Fresh.” Home freezers cannot freeze this quickly and so not only do parasites survive the process but the long time lapse of freezing creates long ice crystals that pierce cell wall after cell wall as they grow. Freeze a strawberry or onion in your home freezer and let it thaw and you will get a very dramatic example of what damage can occur.

You might ask why tuna are mostly free of parasites while something like catfish are not safe to eat raw. It's simple if you think of it this way. Tuna are like F-16 fighter jets, and catfish are like New York City subway cars. F-16s are rarely in the area that spray-painting graffiti vandals are found and even if a tagger saw an F-16 flying by he wouldn't have a good chance of catching it and spraying it. A New York Subway car on the other hand, is found in the relative vicinity of vandals and doesn't actually put up much of a fight getting away. Larger species of tuna are considered so low in parasitic incidence that the FDA does not require them to be frozen to kill parasites, however most are voluntarily frozen anyway just for shipping, freshness, and safety's sake. Also, most parasites are found close to the skin's surface, so sushi that comes from deep inside a fish like “maguro” is almost guaranteed to be parasite free.

If you want to make sushi at home and want to be confident that your fish is free from the danger of parasites, ask your fishmonger for “Sashimi Grade” fish. These are fish that go through all of these FDA measures to guarantee your safety. Not only are they inspected and found to be at least very low in parasites, but then they are frozen to a point where no hidden parasites could survive.

Your chances of becoming infected with a parasite in a U.S. sushi bar are so low that it could reasonably be dismissed as an issue in our modern times. Sushi in other countries is still at risk, but many of these other countries are picking up our “Freeze the parasites to death” program. Even sushi bars in Japan, with their obsession of the freshest seafood possible, are becoming safer to eat at.



Some states do not require the freezing method before serving sushi.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:38 PM   #42
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Last year my buddy in Mexico was eating fresh sushi they caught a yellow fin and the deckhand wipped it up right there on the boat they are kicking I think lol
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:08 PM   #43
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

We made awesome sashimi in Mexico. I think it was prepared on the same surface that we were cleaning fish on a few minutes before. While I don't want to INVITE any extra parasites into my system, I like raw fish enough to properly prepare it and eat it at home or in nice restaurants. It fact, just about the only time my wife & I go out is for "sushi". BTW - Syun Isakaya is GREAT!!

My version of a great day is to fish with Salmon eggs during the day, then EAT THEM in he evening....NOT the same eggs!!!! "sushi grade" eggs!!!
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #44
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

Salmon sashimi has to be my absolute favorite. Those who refuse to give it a try are seriously missing out. I have eaten my own home-prepared nigiri several times without ill effects, although it is certainly taking a risk for parasitic infection. Getting "sick" or spending extra time in the bathroom is really more of a cleanliness issue. This is caused by bacterial infection, usually "gram-negative" enteric pathogens such as E.coli, Shigella, Proteus and the like. Wash your hands after taking a dump and keep your food prep area clean! I have never gotten sick from sushi and have eaten it hundreds of times. Of course, I don't eat grocery store or gas station sushi either!
The nice thing, if there is a nice thing, about parasitic infections is that they can generally be easily treated with drugs. Eating a well reputed sushi restaurants should be reasonable insurance against such parasites. In the Albany area, I like Ginza, momiji, Aomatsu (corvallis), and the new-ish restaurant next to big river.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:48 PM   #45
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

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Salmon sashimi has to be my absolute favorite. Those who refuse to give it a try are seriously missing out. I have eaten my own home-prepared nigiri several times without ill effects, although it is certainly taking a risk for parasitic infection. Getting "sick" or spending extra time in the bathroom is really more of a cleanliness issue. This is caused by bacterial infection, usually "gram-negative" enteric pathogens such as E.coli, Shigella, Proteus and the like. Wash your hands after taking a dump and keep your food prep area clean! I have never gotten sick from sushi and have eaten it hundreds of times. Of course, I don't eat grocery store or gas station sushi either!
The nice thing, if there is a nice thing, about parasitic infections is that they can generally be easily treated with drugs. Eating a well reputed sushi restaurants should be reasonable insurance against such parasites. In the Albany area, I like Ginza, momiji, Aomatsu (corvallis), and the new-ish restaurant next to big river.

I love sushi, but I still have to show that haha. That's the same parasite found in Salmon.

I eat sushi probably 2-3 days a week and i've never gotten sick.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:04 PM   #46
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

I wouldn't let the fear of a few parasites deter you from some of the greatest food on the planet. Sushi and sashimi is among my top 3 favorite foods of all time. Besides I have had both dysentery (from amoebas) and malaria so a nematode doesn't scare me at all. Besides if you have eaten anything with any dirt of on it you've eaten nematodes.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:26 PM   #47
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I think it's funny how Americans approach food born hazards. An entire nation eats raw fish every day and has for thousands of years, yet we fret about a slight chance of getting sick.

Some people would need therapy if they had any idea what the FDA limits are for some contaminants in everyday foods that we never second guess.

We consume processed foods by the truckloads and worry about the whole foods we harvest.

A single ingredient food is so much better for you, and presents less risk, than any processed food any day, hands down.

We question the potential harm of a controllable microbe but don't blink at consuming GMO, mechanically processed, multi-ingredient, imported, chemical infused, and otherwise "enhanced" or "marinated" foods.

We're a funny bunch.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #48
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Default Re: How to freeze fish for sushi grade?

SO TRUE!! A piece of fish that I caught, bled, iced, filleted, froze and prepared is something I'm FINE with eating!!!!
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