When the food is delicious, we always order more than we need. The same happens when people visit a sushi restaurant.
They order more sashimi than they need so that they may take it home and eat it later, which leads them to wonder can you freeze sashimi.
While you can freeze sashimi, it is critical to understand that storing and freezing sashimi is a challenging task. Moreover, consuming sashimi that is not stored properly can make you sick.
Therefore, before bringing sashimi home, it’s a good idea to learn about it. Read on to learn how to freeze sashimi for later consumption and store it properly?
What is Sashimi?
Sashimi traditionally belongs to Japan. It is a Japanese cuisine that usually consists of thinly sliced raw fish.
In addition to fish and seafood, it can also be produced from thinly sliced raw meats such as pork, beef, and chicken.
So, we can say sashimi is raw meat efficiently prepared into thin slices to be eaten without being cooked.
You would be wondering, is it safe to eat raw fish? The answer is yes. If the raw fish is prepared correctly (preferably by an expert), it can be eaten without a doubt.
And do you know what we call raw fish or meat that is safe to eat? We call it “sashimi grade.” (More on this below)
Sashimi can be served as a snack, as part of a light meal, or as an appetizer. Making sashimi requires expertise as the meat requires smooth, equal, and uniform cuts.
While the majority of sashimi is eaten raw, some variety is cooked briefly, either braised, grilled, or boiled, for flavor and texture, as well as to avoid food poisoning.
Are Sashimi and Sushi the Same?
Sashimi is frequently confused with sushi, even though the two can’t be more different. The two are also considered as one because sashimi is primarily available at sushi restaurants.
Sashimi is a raw fish or any raw meat that is edible. Sushi is a raw or cooked fish topped on seasoned, vinegared rice. Sushi also includes a layer of veggies and other ingredients.
The key difference is that sashimi is always served raw as a separate meal, but sushi, raw or cooked, is always served with rice.
What is Sashimi-Grade?
Raw seafood consumption can produce adverse effects on health due to the presence of bacteria, tapeworms, or parasites. Sashimi-grade raw food indicates that the meat you’re buying from the fish market or consuming at a restaurant is high-quality and safe to be consumed raw.
Why is that so?
Actually, the sashimi-grade label indicates that the manufacturer or chef has gone the extra mile to make the meat safe to be eaten raw. It assures that they have taken all of the necessary precautions to kill and eliminate any bacteria or organisms that may have been present in the meat.
If you see a sashimi-grade fish on the restaurant’s menu, be sure that they serve high-quality fish. The same goes for supermarkets and local fishmongers.
Can You Freeze Sashimi?
Yes, sashimi can be frozen. However, there are many conditions to it.
First of all, freezing sashimi within hours of catching it (flash-frozen) is preferable to freezing leftover sashimi.
In fact, it is essential to freeze sashimi before consuming it. The FDA’s research says that freezing raw seafood before eating kills hazardous germs or parasites that may be present in raw meat.
But… it’s not a good idea to freeze your own fresh sashimi for later consumption.
Ask me why!
Because raw meat contains germs and parasites, and according to the FDA’s guidelines, flash-freezing is required to eradicate all the germs and parasites in the meat.
Now you must be wondering how flash freezing is done? So, here we go.
The quality and general freshness of the seafood are ensured by flash freezing. Flash-frozen fish is “healthier and fresher” than “the regular frozen” fish.
Flash-frozen is a process that retains the freshness of the meat by rapidly lowering the temperature of the meat to -40°C. The product must be frozen within four hours of catching to be considered flash frozen at sea.
The sad news is this temperature is above the freezing point of most home freezers. Only commercial freezers ensure immediate cooling and proper storing of sashimi.
Let me elaborate!
Why Freezing Sashimi at Home Is A Bad Idea?
Ice crystals occur in the product during freezing (due to water absorption) and tear down the protein structure at the cellular level. Therefore, it is better to flash-freeze the meat immediately to produce fewer ice crystals.
If you freeze sashimi at home in a regular freezer (0F), it will take time to freeze, and more ice crystals will form, which will lower the quality and affect the fish’s texture.
However, commercial freezers have low temperatures. They will freeze it faster, resulting in fewer ice crystals and preserving sashimi’s flavor.
Storing and Thawing Sashimi in the Refrigerator
You cannot store sashimi in the fridge for storage purposes. But you can keep it in the refrigerator for thawing.
To enjoy the fresh taste and texture, it is best to consume sashimi immediately. If you intend to consume it later, you should always freeze sashimi-grade seafood immediately to start eradicating bacteria and parasites right away.
You can thaw raw sashimi overnight in the refrigerator to consume it the other day. If you need to thaw it quickly, place it in a sealed plastic bag and submerge it in cold water.
Note: To avoid food-borne infections, frozen sashimi must be consumed within 2 days of purchase when kept in a refrigerator at 4°C or lower.
Can you Freeze Leftover Sashimi?
As previously stated, sashimi is a sashimi-grade fish that has most likely already been frozen. You will badly harm the fish’s quality if you freeze it repeatedly, especially in your home freezer.
Furthermore, you’ll be unhappy to discover that what you have now is mushy, fishy meat when you take it out to eat.
While it is tempting to bring sashimi home and freeze it to enjoy later, it is not a good idea.
Sashimi must be frozen and stored correctly. When it comes down to it, remember the significance of temperatures and the advantages of flash-frozen foods.
So, if you have a commercial freezer at home, you can give it a try. Otherwise, it is better to visit a high-quality sushi restaurant to enjoy sashimi and not to give in to the temptation to bring the leftovers home for freezing. 😎