The word sashimi means "pierced body", i.e. "刺身" = sashimi, where 刺 し = sashi (pierced, stuck) and 身 = mi (body, meat). This word dates from the Muromachi period and was possibly coined when the word "切る" = kiru (cut), the culinary step, was considered too inauspicious to be used by anyone other than samurai. This word may derive from the culinary practice of sticking the fish's tail and fin to the slices for the purpose of identifying the fish being eaten.
Another possibility for the name is the traditional method of harvesting. "Sashimi-grade" fish is caught by individual handline. As soon as the fish is landed, its brain is pierced with a sharp spike, and it is placed in slurried ice. This spiking is called the ikejime process, and the instantaneous death means that the fish's flesh contains a minimal amount of lactic acid. This means that the fish will keep fresh on ice for about ten days, without turning white or otherwise degrading.
Many non-Japanese use the terms sashimi and sushi interchangeably, but the two dishes are distinct and separate. Sushi refers to any dish made with vinegared rice. While raw fish is one traditional sushi ingredient, many sushi dishes contain seafood that has been cooked, and others have no seafood at all. Sashimi by contrast is always served on its own.
Sashimi is often the first course in a formal Japanese meal, but it can also be the main course, presented with rice and miso soup in separate bowls.[dubious ] Japanese chefs consider sashimi the finest dish in Japanese formal dining and recommend that it be eaten before other strong flavors affect the palate.
The sliced seafood that composes the main ingredient is typically draped over a garnish. The typical garnish is Asian white radish, daikon, shredded into long thin strands, or single leaves of the herb shiso (perilla)
Sashimi is popularly served with a dipping sauce (soy sauce) and condiments such as wasabi paste, grated fresh ginger, grated fresh garlic, or ponzu for meat sashimi, and such garnishes as shiso and shredded daikon radish. Wasabi paste is sometimes mixed directly into soy sauce as a dipping sauce, which is generally not done when eating sushi (which itself normally includes wasabi). Another way to flavor soy sauce with wasabi is to place the wasabi mound into the soy sauce dish and then pour it in. This allows the wasabi to infuse the soy sauce more subtly. A reputed motivation for serving wasabi with sashimi (and also gari, pickled ginger), besides its flavor, is killing harmful bacteria and parasites that could be present in raw seafood. Other garnishes, more common in Japan than overseas, include red water pepper sprouts beni-tade (紅蓼) and a small chrysanthemum kogiku (小菊). The chrysanthemum, unlike other garnishes, is not intended to be eaten but put as preservative, and in cheap service (such as at supermarkets) may be substituted with a plastic flower.
To highlight the delicate flavor as well as for texture, the chef cuts fish into different thicknesses by variety of the fish, its age and by the season. The hira-zukuri cut (literally "flat slice"), is the standard cut for most sashimi. Typically this style of cut is the size of a domino and 10 mm (3⁄8 in) thick. Tuna, salmon, and kingfish are most commonly cut in this style. The usu-zukuri cut (literally "thin slice"), is an extremely thin, diagonally cut slice that is mostly used to cut firm fish, such as bream, whiting, and flounder. The dimensions of this fish is usually 50 mm (2 in) long and 2 mm (1⁄16 in) wide. The kaku-zukuri cut (literally "square slice"), is the style in which sashimi is cut into small cubes that are 20 mm (3⁄4 in) on each side. The ito-zukuri cut (literally "thread slice"), is the style in which the fish is cut into fine strips, less than 2 mm (1⁄16 in) in diameter The fish typically cut with the ito-zukuri style include garfish and squid; squid dish prepared in ito-zukuri is also called ika sōmen and you dip them in dashi or men-tsuyu like eating sōmen noodle.
Popular main ingredients for sashimi include:
- Salmon (鮭 Sake)
- Squid (いか Ika)
- Shrimp (えび Ebi)
- Tuna (まぐろ Maguro)
- Mackerel (さば Saba)
- Horse mackerel (あじ Aji)
- Octopus (たこ Tako)
- Fatty tuna (おおとろ Ōtoro)
- Yellowtail (はまち Hamachi)
- Scallop (ほたて貝 Hotate-gai)
- Sea urchin (ウニ Uni)
Some sashimi ingredients, such as octopus, are sometimes served cooked given their chewy nature. Most seafood, such as tuna, salmon, and squid, are served raw. Tataki (たたき or 叩き, "pounded") is a type of sashimi that is quickly and lightly seared on the outside, leaving it raw inside.
Less common, but not unusual, sashimi ingredients are vegetarian items, such as yuba (bean curd skin), and raw red meats, such as beef (known as gyuunotataki) or horse (known as basashi). Chicken "sashimi" (known as toriwasa) is considered by some[who?] to be a delicacy; the Nagoya kōchin, French poulet de Bresse and its American derivative, the blue foot chicken, are favored by many for this purpose, as, besides their taste, they are certified to be free of Salmonella. Chicken sashimi is sometimes slightly braised or seared on the outside.
Ingredients other than raw fish meatEdit
Food cut into small pieces and eaten with wasabi and soy sauce may be called sashimi in Japan, including the following ingredients. Like bamboo shoots, the food is enjoyed raw to appreciate the freshness, and producers and farmers offer those sashimi at their properties in top season. Some of the vegetables are enjoyed as thin sliced strips and called sashimi while they resemble fish meat, like avocado as salmon and konnyaku as puffer fish.
- Avocado: served as "avocado sashimi", it is considered to have a texture similar to raw or slightly salted fatty salmon. Eaten with wasabi soy sauce.
- Bamboo shoots: farmers of bamboo grove serves takenoko in course menu, and sashimi is almost always entered during the high season of harvest. Those chemical contents such as oxalic acid, homogentisic acid and their glycosides enhance bitter taste in bamboo shoots, and enzymes start breaking down amino acid tyrosine into homogentisic acid within hours after harvest. Since a very large amount of that amino acid is contained (690 mg per 100 g), even you boil bamboo shoots in alkaline water (rice bran juice or baking soda) before cooking, the natural sweet flavor is impossible to be enjoyed other than fresh from the grove.
- Japanese radish: among many varieties of vegetables eaten fresh, they say the flavor stands out when tasted within a couple of hours after harvesting, and called sashimi vegitables instead of very fresh salad.
- Konnyaku: cut into short thin strips resembling puffer fish meat, thus called yama fugu (mountain puffer fish) in some regions. Served with vinegar and miso, wasabi and soy sauce, vinegar and soy sauce.
- Yuba, or tofu skin: while there are restaurants where you cook your own yuba and eat while its hot, yuba-sashi or sashimi of yuba is chilled and served with wasabi soy sauce or vinegar miso.
- Beef, pork, and poultry: bought from licensed butchers and processors, those were served raw, and cases are that the restaurant offer slightly cooked meat as sashimi to avoid high risk of food poisoning and parasite infection, by treating meat in boiling water (yubiki) or braised with gas torch (aburi). Served with ponzu citrus vinegar.
- Chiragaa: boiled face skin of pork, served with vinegar and miso sauce, also served as Okinawa cuisine.
- Goat meat: Okinawa cuisine, served with soy sauce and grated ginger.
- Horse meat: offered with grated garlic and soy sauce.
- Mimigaa: boiled ears of pork, also served as Okinawa cuisine.
- Offal: advised to buy from meat processors or restaurants with licenses, as fatal food poisoning happened in Japan with beef liver.[a][b]
- Wild meat: boar as Okinawa cuisine consumed on Iriomote and Ishigaki islands and boiled meat is served. Deer meat.
Goat meat served raw as sashimi. Photogaraphed in Naha.
- Fishcake: one among the express menu on izakaya menu, offered as Itawasa. Sliced into 1 centimetre (0.39 in) thick strips, and eat with wasabi and soy sauce.
- Seaweed: wakame is in strict sense not eaten raw but dipped in boiling water for a few seconds, and enjoyed the fresh green color, with wasabi soy sauce. Marinating with vinegar and miso sauce is popular as well.
As a raw food, consuming sashimi can result in foodborne illness when bacteria or parasites are present; for example, anisakiasis is a disease caused by the accidental ingestion of larval nematodes in the family Anisakidae, primarily Anisakis simplex but also Pseudoterranova decipiens. In addition, incorrectly prepared Fugu fish may contain tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin.
Another type of food borne illness that could occur after consuming tainted sashimi is Diphyllobothriasis. This disease is an infection within the intestines that occurs when the tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum is consumed. Common fish such as trout, salmon, pike, and sea bass harbor this parasitic larvae in their muscles. Due to the innovation of the chilled transport system paired with the salmon and trout consumption, an increasing number of cases have been recorded annually in northern Japan due to the spread of this disease.
Traditionally, fish that spend at least part of their lives in brackish or fresh water were considered unsuitable for sashimi because of the possibility of parasites. For example, salmon, an anadromous fish, is not traditionally eaten straight out of the river. A study in Seattle, Washington, showed that all wild salmon had roundworm larvae capable of infecting people, while farm-raised salmon did not have any roundworm larvae. However a study commissioned by the Pew Foundation found that total organic contaminants were consistently and significantly more concentrated in the farmed salmon as a group than in wild salmon.
Freezing is often used to kill parasites. According to European Union regulations, freezing fish at −20 °C (−4 °F) for 24 hours kills parasites. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends freezing at −35 °C (−31 °F) for 15 hours, or at −20 °C (−4 °F) for 7 days.
While Canada does not federally regulate freezing fish, British Columbia and Alberta voluntarily adhere to guidelines similar to the FDA's. Ontario attempted to legislate freezing as part of raw food handling requirements, though this was soon withdrawn due to protests by the industry that the subtle flavors and texture of raw fish would be destroyed by freezing. Instead, Ontario has decided to consider regulations on how raw fish must be handled prior to serving.
Eating chicken sashimi is a serious food poisoning risk. Despite it being on menus, it is hard to find, and many chefs cook it incorrectly. It is often prepared by cooking or searing for 10 seconds, which is not enough time to kill off harmful bacteria such as campylobacter and salmonella. Chicken sashimi is also often sourced at certain restaurants from the thigh, liver and outer breast, where more harmful bacteria tend to grow.
The increased popularity of bluefin tuna for sashimi is reported to have brought this popular species to the verge of extinction. The popularity has grown so much that the biomass of bluefin tuna has dropped from 600 metric tonnes to 200 metric tonnes from 1955 to 2000. This has resulted in a long period of depressed abundance of bluefin tuna, which has led to a failure of bluefins being able to reproduce a large amount of offspring. With the constant amount of fishing, bluefin tuna population rates have been steadily declining. A proposed solution has been farming bluefin tuna in fisheries, but this poses a problem in that the captive fish are not raised from spawn, but rather from small wild fish that are netted and transported to the farms, mostly in the Mediterranean; however, Japanese scientists have found a way to successfully breed and raise the fish entirely in captivity. Despite this technical accomplishment, this may not lead to a viable solution to maintain a sustainable bluefin population, because chefs and consumers see wild bluefin to be more appetizing, and look down upon farmed bluefin.
- Japanese regulation has banned providing or sell raw beef liver for sashimi at restaurants or stores, due to the risk of Hepatitis E and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, since July 2012.
- With cases reported in 2012, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare banned beef liver to be served as sashimi after 12 cases of food poisoning was reported. The regulation was tightened in 2015 and pork liver was added to banned offal.
- "sashimi Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". dictionary.cambridge.org. Archived from the original on 20 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "What is the difference between Sushi vs Sashimi". pogogi.com. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Tsuji, Shizuo; Fisher, M.F.K.; Reichi, Ruth (17 February 2007). Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art (25th Anniversary ed.). Kodansha USA. pp. 158–60. ISBN 978-4-7700-3049-8.
- "Wasabi". Japan Deluxe Tours. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Sushi Items – Wasabi". The Sushi FAQ. Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Ōta, Tadamichi (2008). Kentei washoku chōri no hōchō gijutsu: shoshinsha kara ryōrinin made gijutsu ga kanzen ni mi ni tsuku ! [Certified Japanese cooking technology for using kitchen knives: From beginners to cooks, skills are fully acquired!] (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Asahiya shuppan. ISBN 9784751107690. OCLC 23313847.
- Ōta, Tadamichi (2013). Shin★sashimi ryori no chori to enshutsu : ninki wo yobu sashimi-zukuri no gijutsu kokai [New Sashimi dish cooking and presentation: Technical know-how revealed on preparing popular sashimi dishes]. Asahiya Shuppan MOOK (in Japanese). Asahiya Shuppan. ISBN 9784751110256. OCLC 842834700.NCID BB13254487
- Ōta, T. (2018). Shinka suru sashimi ryori : miryoku wo takameru sashimi no ryori-zukuri to chori gijutsu [Evolving sashimi cuisine: Sashimi cooking and decoration techniques to better appeal] (in Japanese). Asahiya Shuppan. ISBN 9784751113127. OCLC 1021860782.NCID BB25638919
- "How to prepare sashimi". Good Food. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Detrick, Mia (1981). Sushi. ISBN 978-0-87701-238-2. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Japanese regulation document". Archived from the original on 24 July 2015.
- Mouritsen, O.G. (2009). Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body and the Soul. SpringerLink : BÃ¼cher. Springer US. p. 296. ISBN 978-1-4419-0618-2. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
basashi – sashimi made from raw horse (uma).
- Kramer, Jillian (24 January 2017). "Is It Safe To Eat Chicken Sashimi?". Food & Wine. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Muroi, Hiroshi (July 1983). Takenoko no sashimi. Fuji take-rui shokubutsuen hokoku : The reports of the Fuji Bamboo Garden (in Japanese). Gotemba, Shizuoka: Nihon takesasa no kai. pp. 95–98. ISSN 0287-3494. OCLC 5178838299.
- Ikenami, Shotaro (June 1989). "Kenyaku shobai hocho-gonomi : takenoko no sashimi hoka 4-ten". Shosetsu shincho (in Japanese). Shinchosha. 43 (7(541)): 142–145. doi:10.11501/6075166.
- "Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan, 7th edition". www.mext.go.jp. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "kigyo to ningen : shun no yasai no sashimi wo shokutaku e no fudo sabisu-bin — Mitsui shokuhin gokyo kabushikigaisha to Iwata Sekio-shi" [Industry and individuals : Food service that flights fresh vegetables sashimi onto your dining table — Mitsui Food Industries, Ltd. and Sekio Iwata]. Shokuhin no hoso (in Japanese). Nagoya: Hoso shokuhin gijutu kyokai. 29 (2): 3–5. March 1998. ISSN 0285-4449.
- "(G)Kyoto-hen: fumi yutakana "Yubani" no namayuba sashimi" [Kyoto edition : Raw Yuba sashimi at "Yuba ni", rich in flavor]. Shukan shincho (in Japanese). Shinchosha. 36 (22): 33. June 1991. doi:10.11501/3378682. ISSN 0488-7484.
- "Chiragaa". Digital Daijisen plus.
- Okinawa/Amami Slow Food Society, ed. (October 2004). Okinawa suro fudo okoku : karada to kokoro ni hibikiau, furusato okinawa no aji magajin [Okinawa Slow Food Kingdom: Taste magazine of oldness and Okinawa that resonates with body and mind] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Ei Shuppan. p. 29. ISBN 4-7779-0171-8.
- Tokai seikatsu kenkyu purojekuto Okinawa chimu, ed. (2009). Okinawa ruru : riaru okinawa-jin ni narutame no 49 no ruru [Okinawan Rules: 49 rules that you should master before becoming a real Okinawan]. Chukei shuppan / KADOKAWA.
- Okinawa/Amami 2004, p. 29.
- "Nenkan wazuka 12-rei no shokuchudoku wo nakusutame, shomin no tanoshimi wa ubawareta : "Rebasashi" wo kinshi shita Korosho no oobaka kisei" [part 13: The pleasure of the common people was taken away to eliminate only 12 cases of food poisoning a year : ban on beef liver sashimi, an absurd measure by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare]. Shukan Posuto. Honshi "Shiroari kujotai" ga iku (in Japanese). Shogakukan. 44 (20(2180)): 47–49. 18 May 2012.
- Taniguchi, Natsuko (2013). Sayonara rebasashi: Kinshi made no yonhyaku-sanjūhachi-nichikan [Goodbye, liver sashimi: 438 days to ban]. BAMBOO ESSAY SELECTION. Tokyo: Takeshobō. ISBN 9784812495933. OCLC 853442433.
- "Buta no nama rebā: Teikyō kinshi Kōrōshō, raigetsu chūjun kara" [Raw pork lever: Ministry of Labor Bans, starting middle next month]. Mainichi Shinbun (in Japanese). 27 May 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "BBB – Anisakis simplex and related". Fda.gov. 2 February 2009. Archived from the original on 25 June 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Yukifumi Nawa (2005). "Sushi Delights and Parasites: The Risk of Fishborne and Foodborne Parasitic Zoonoses in Asia". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 41 (9): 1297–1303. doi:10.1086/496920. PMID 16206105. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Deardorff, TL; ML Kent (1 July 1989). "Prevalence of larval Anisakis simplex in pen-reared and wild-caught salmon (Salmonidae) from Puget Sound, Washington". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 25 (3): 416–419. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-25.3.416. PMID 2761015.
- Hites, R. A. (9 January 2004). "Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon". Science. 303 (5655): 226–229. Bibcode:2004Sci...303..226H. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.319.8375. doi:10.1126/science.1091447. PMID 14716013.
- "Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin". Eur-lex.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Chapter 5: Parasites Archived 28 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance – Fourth Edition
- "Illness-Causing Fish Parasites (Worms)" (PDF). BC Centre for Disease Control. July 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Sushi Sashimi Policy" (PDF). Calgary Health Region. 1 February 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Farm Direct Marketing: Know the Regulations - General Legislation" (PDF). Open Government Alberta. 2014.
-  Archived 2 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "What Color Is Your Tuna? Washington Post Wednesday, October 27, 2004". The Washington Post. 27 October 2004. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Moskin, Julia (6 October 2004). "Tuna's Red Glare? It Could Be Carbon Monoxide". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Sashimi trend helps edge Pacific bluefin tuna towards extinction". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Secor, D. H.; Rooker, J. R.; Gahagan, B. I.; Siskey, M. R.; Wingate, R. W. (2015). "Depressed resilience of bluefin tuna in the western atlantic and age truncation". Conservation Biology. 29 (2): 400–408. doi:10.1111/cobi.12392. PMID 25354426.
- "The Bluefin Slaughter". The Opinion Pages/Editorial. The New York Times. 17 November 2007. p. A18. Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Japanese scientists breed first captive bluefin tuna in fight for sustainable fisheries". North Asia. ABC News. 7 April 2015. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Munchies (18 May 2015). "Appetite for Destruction: Eating Bluefin Tuna into Extinction" – via YouTube.