Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
TAPrice

Fish tales in Saveur?

Recommended Posts

I was reading Saveur's review of "The Sushi Experience" in the October issue and wondered about two points.

In a sidebar, the article offers this tip from the book:

If you're worried about the safety of eating raw fish, you can rinse the fish in freshly brewed and cooled tea, which acts as a sterilizing agent.

Personally, I've never worried about raw fish. This little article, from the Student Health Services at Columbia University, confirms that we have little to fear:

Can I get sick from raw fish?

In a nutshell, it says that ill effects are rare and almost always temporary. It also says that heat or freezing are the best options for those concerned. Surprisingly (to me at least), a strong dose of acid, such as in ceviche, won't kill off worms or bacteria.

Is there any reason to think that tea would kill off worms or bacteria?

The review, quoting the cookbook, also says that fish for sushi should be line-caught, transferred alive to a tank, allowed to rest in the tank overnight to relieve stress, and then slaughtered instantaneously.

This sounds, well, lovely. Almost impossibly lovely. Like popping a rare ortolan into my mouth while blindfolded. Could it be true?

Is fish really treated with such care in Japan? Can such fish be found in the U.S.? If so, where? If you have tasted it, how does it differ from more average fish?


Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I can't speak directly to the Tea question I can say that fresh caught is best.

No care involved though-just yank in a Salmon/bleed him in the ocean until dead transfer to a cutting board/whack off a chunk/slice it up and wolf it down.

Sometimes Wasabi/Soy on hand sometimes just Citrus.

It's so rich-like Salmon flavoured butter :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Todd, you need to come check out Sushi Yasuda here in New York. Chef Yasuda is fanatical about questions of fish handling and storage. From the Sushi Yasuda website: "Yasuda carefully controls the aging process of his fish—an essential part of making sushi. 'Just-caught' fish is not always ideal for being eaten immediately as sushi, and different fish require different methods of refrigeration and storage for preservation and taste."

As for the specific claim, clearly it's not applicable to all fish -- for example you're not going to put a 175-kilogram tuna in a tank. I have, however, had fluke that was handled that way -- the few places that I've seen offer it call it "live fluke."


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I can't speak directly to the Tea question I can say that fresh caught is best.

No care involved though-just yank in a Salmon/bleed him in the ocean until dead transfer to a cutting board/whack off a chunk/slice it up and wolf it down.

Sometimes Wasabi/Soy on hand sometimes just Citrus.

It's so rich-like Salmon flavoured butter :wub:

Can you say rigormortis? Ever tried to pinbone a fish in rigor? Been there. Not Fun. I'll wait the few extra hours thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if you've ever seen a bluefin tuna but theres no way that's going to happen for those at least.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When local fishermen catch tuna, they lash it to the side of the boat for a while before bleeding it. The fish is dazed and eventually relaxes. They are carefully wrapped in special thermo-wrap for the voyage back to port. Years ago Japanese buyers instructed local fishermen on how and where to bleed and dress Giant Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.

gallery_16643_1028_2989.jpg

These two weigh about 700 pounds each and measure almost nine feet.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The review, quoting the cookbook, also says that fish for sushi should be line-caught, transferred alive to a tank, allowed to rest in the tank overnight to relieve stress, and then slaughtered instantaneously.

This is not entirely false, but I googled and learned that a common practice is to kill fish immediately after catching them, which is called ikejime (lit. killing while alive).

The statement about tea is entirely false. Vinegar can't kill parasites, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been awhile, but I read that worms can live in pickled herring, and the parasites may be found in humans who eat a lot it, as in the North Sea area.

The vinegar and brine do not kill the worms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
transferred alive to a tank

Seki saba seem to be transferred alive to an ikesu (tank) before being killed.

I found one source in English.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/b...75947/index.htm

This is one example of ikejime:

Another is a local preservation technique, known as ikejime, that involves puncturing holes near the gills and tail to quickly drain blood.

Other fish such as tuna seem to be killed immediately after being caught.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I can't speak directly to the Tea question I can say that fresh caught is best.

No care involved though-just yank in a Salmon/bleed him in the ocean until dead transfer to a cutting board/whack off a chunk/slice it up and wolf it down.

Sometimes Wasabi/Soy on hand sometimes just Citrus.

It's so rich-like Salmon flavoured butter :wub:

Can you say rigormortis? Ever tried to pinbone a fish in rigor? Been there. Not Fun. I'll wait the few extra hours thanks.

I see you've never sliced from a fresh killed-and I mean still shaking-Spring Salmon.

Rigor mortis doesn't set in for a short while-I know what you mean but it's not an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...