1

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Eating Salmon Raw? Does it need to be "Sushi Grade"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 10, 2012 at 7:49 PM

I love raw fish. In fact, I prefer raw fish over cooked fish any day. Yesterday, my roommate said she thought that in order to eat salmon or any other fish raw, the fish has to be "sushi grade." Is there any truth to this statement? And if this is true, how can I go about figuring out if the fish is sushi grade?

For instance, yesterday I bought a package of Changing Seas Smoked Salmon from Whole Foods. Is this Salmon safe to eat raw? Should I sear it? Is it safe?

Thank you, all advice and suggestions are welcome.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 11, 2012
at 01:33 AM

me too, throw all the goodness together and let it mellow.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 10, 2012
at 09:34 PM

I don't even bother to drain it, toss it all in, and let it marinate long enough to get all the flavors to mix, and eat it with a fork. Enough lime or lemon juice and some time will take care of most parasites. Being slightly paranoid because fish that spends any time in fresh water is at higher risk for parasites, I will also usually freeze the fish for a week or two before making this.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 09:23 PM

Mark, I have little to no experience cooking or preparing fish. For educational purposes my question specifically pertains to raw salmon, and food safety. If you have knowledge or suggestions regarding my specific subject matter that would benefit the conversation, please feel free to add. If not, please keep your criticism and unconstructiveness to yourself.

383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 10, 2012
at 09:09 PM

is this the guy from mark's daily apple?

383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:55 PM

why did you give me a down vote?

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:55 PM

CD - I read the article you provided. After I marinate my salmon in lemon juice for a few hours, then drain the juice, do I then marinate my salmon in the other ingredients such as garlic, avocado, etc. for additional time, or do I just eat the the salmon and ingredients as is without extra marinating?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Here's the basic technique: http://www.destination-healthy-foods.com/Salmon-Ceviche.html -- basically you cover the fish with fresh lemon or lime juice (and salt/pepper as desired). I prefer to do the thin sliced shasimi style look rather than to chunk it, but both work fine. Then you add a small salsa or salad to the top. The possibilities are endless -- My favorite is to dice up Jalapenos, Cilantro, Mango, and Red Onions mix with a little olive oil and serve over lime and soy Shrimp (I quickly pan fry my shrimp but you don't have to for fish).

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Happy_Now - Do you have a specific recipe you would recommend?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:21 PM

@Happy_Now, good point, I should have included ceviche should be included under #3 in my response. An Acidic marinade would also likely kill off the parasites.

B885dc10c6263f5a4492205d50560bee

(401)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:21 PM

This... This is not good advice.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:20 PM

It's a fine line. Most likely nothing coming from a grocery store is going to be sushi grade. So you have three options, (1) Follow the guidelines in FDA 3-402.11, freeze the fish for 7 days before consuming; or (2) Buying wild caught fish from waters you are comfortable and staying away from any farmed fish and hoping for the best; or (3) Smoke your own fish, then you get the texture you want without the concern.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:14 PM

You could make lox of ceviche from it if you have any concerns, it keeps the raw fish texture, but has been "chemically cooked".

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:06 PM

Thanks CD. This is great information. Would you suggest I sear the fish then to be on the safe side? Unfortunately for me it is hard for me to handle the texture of completely cooked fish. It nearly makes me gag.

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3 Answers

best answer

6
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Smoked Salmon is of course safe to eat -- but it's not "raw", it's been smoked. (note: even cold smoked salmon, while not cooked, is not considered raw in the culinary sense)

Certifying fish as sushi grade just means that it has gone through a more thorough process of certification which includes the full lineage of the fish (where it was caught, how it was handled, temperature exposures, etc.).

In my opinion, eating raw fish is like eating raw meat. If you know and trust the source of your food then you certainly can eat it raw. The beef I get from a local farm is not sold as "organic" "grass-fed" or "prime" because the farm doesn't participate in the USDA ratings for sale. They work 100% direct to consumer. However, I know the beef is organic and grass-fed. And it certainly has better marbling than most of the meat I can get at the store. Would I eat it raw? Well I eat it more rare than I would store bought crap. I know the farm, I know the butcher, and I pick it up straight from them -- I am comfortable with it.

I personally am not as comfortable with the Alaskan salmon that is sitting at my local whole foods that was not certified sushi grade.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Here's the basic technique: http://www.destination-healthy-foods.com/Salmon-Ceviche.html -- basically you cover the fish with fresh lemon or lime juice (and salt/pepper as desired). I prefer to do the thin sliced shasimi style look rather than to chunk it, but both work fine. Then you add a small salsa or salad to the top. The possibilities are endless -- My favorite is to dice up Jalapenos, Cilantro, Mango, and Red Onions mix with a little olive oil and serve over lime and soy Shrimp (I quickly pan fry my shrimp but you don't have to for fish).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:21 PM

@Happy_Now, good point, I should have included ceviche should be included under #3 in my response. An Acidic marinade would also likely kill off the parasites.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:14 PM

You could make lox of ceviche from it if you have any concerns, it keeps the raw fish texture, but has been "chemically cooked".

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 10, 2012
at 09:34 PM

I don't even bother to drain it, toss it all in, and let it marinate long enough to get all the flavors to mix, and eat it with a fork. Enough lime or lemon juice and some time will take care of most parasites. Being slightly paranoid because fish that spends any time in fresh water is at higher risk for parasites, I will also usually freeze the fish for a week or two before making this.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Happy_Now - Do you have a specific recipe you would recommend?

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:55 PM

CD - I read the article you provided. After I marinate my salmon in lemon juice for a few hours, then drain the juice, do I then marinate my salmon in the other ingredients such as garlic, avocado, etc. for additional time, or do I just eat the the salmon and ingredients as is without extra marinating?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:20 PM

It's a fine line. Most likely nothing coming from a grocery store is going to be sushi grade. So you have three options, (1) Follow the guidelines in FDA 3-402.11, freeze the fish for 7 days before consuming; or (2) Buying wild caught fish from waters you are comfortable and staying away from any farmed fish and hoping for the best; or (3) Smoke your own fish, then you get the texture you want without the concern.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:06 PM

Thanks CD. This is great information. Would you suggest I sear the fish then to be on the safe side? Unfortunately for me it is hard for me to handle the texture of completely cooked fish. It nearly makes me gag.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 11, 2012
at 01:33 AM

me too, throw all the goodness together and let it mellow.

-2
7d588e34dc60dde6192314b3ef0da3aa

on December 10, 2012
at 08:56 PM

All you guys and your healthy eating....that stuff is all lies. My girlfriend has been trying to get me to go "paleo" for a while, sent me links to all these diet websites. Listen. I eat whatever I feel like, and I could probably out bench, run, and endure more than 80% of the people around me at any give time. I don't have a secret diet. I make sensible choices everyday chicken lots of veggies, steak, walnuts, honey, greek yogurt, etc. I work out every night, and run every morning. I also occasionally eat Mcdonalds, go out for dinner and have one to many drinks every now and then. Im healthy. All this "pale" stuff will dissuade you. Just work out and eat right, every now and then have those chips or can of coke, we are all human. Life is too short to be restricting yourself. I was in the army when I was younger, the guys I knew abused there bodies like crazy, and every one of them is super fit. Just work out hard every night, and run in the morning you will be fine, you'll be surprised at the other workouts you get, for instance I play indoor soccer on the weekends, and sqaush with friends every now and they count as workouts too. Eat whatever, just be smart, you know what bad and good, spoil your self every once in a while, and work out. Simple.

Love life,

Mark

383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 10, 2012
at 09:09 PM

is this the guy from mark's daily apple?

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 10, 2012
at 09:23 PM

Mark, I have little to no experience cooking or preparing fish. For educational purposes my question specifically pertains to raw salmon, and food safety. If you have knowledge or suggestions regarding my specific subject matter that would benefit the conversation, please feel free to add. If not, please keep your criticism and unconstructiveness to yourself.

-3
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 10, 2012
at 07:54 PM

raw fish is fine as long as it don't have maggots in it. i dumpster dive for meat every now and then and have never had problems eating the raw meat i find.

B885dc10c6263f5a4492205d50560bee

(401)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:21 PM

This... This is not good advice.

383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:55 PM

why did you give me a down vote?

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