Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: pre freezing temps/time for safe sushi???

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    fairbanks alaska
    Posts
    207

    Question pre freezing temps/time for safe sushi???

    ok, i've read a few times that sushi should be frozen below some preordained "temperature" to kill parasites. i've also read that raw fish is supposed to be frozen for some preordained "length of time" to make it safe for sushi. i'v been unable to find a listed temperature or length of time. does anyone know? thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    893

    Default Typically speaking,....

    I've never made my own sushi; I usually leave that sorta' thing to those who roll it up for a living, or at least more routinely than myself, and I simply enjoy their efforts..... when ever possible, and with just the rioght amount of pickled ginger, and green wasabi mustard.

    But a couple of years ago, when a friend of Japanese descent went fishing with us for halibut, rock fish, etc., I know that he and his mother 'snacked while they packed,' during processing, after he returned home with his share of the catch. So, at least in their case, I'm not sure that freezing was required or performed at all.

    But please don't take that as a statement of certainty. And even then, to each their own..

    I will say that in the world of parasites, there's them that you can live your whole life with, and likely never even know that you've acquired them. And then there's others that you want no part of.

    A very decent and adept veterinarian whose office I frequented before his death years back, once told me that 75% of a particular village tested positive for echinococus granulosis, mostly as a result of eating raw caribou dipped in seal oil (I don't know how to spell the Inupiat name for it, but I can come very close to properly pronouncing it.. It's very similar to 'quock' or qwaak.). According to him, with the exception of the St. Lawrence Island version of that particular 'internal hitch-hiker,' there wasn't too much to worry about, other than for unflattering, or less than calming, mental imagery.

    Surf's up!

    ruffle

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    My wife and I started making our own sushi last year. The first time we did it, we used fresh out of the river fish to make it. Oops! Only a few hours later someone told us about the potential for parasites. All fish can carry them, but salmon (particularly in freshwater) are particularly susceptible. We were told that 72 hours frozen in a chest freezer will kill the parasites. It would take longer if all you have is the freezer on the side of your refrigerator, though, as the temps are not as cold. This isn't professional advice - we were told this by someone else and I haven't looked it up - but it's worked for us so far.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    893

    Default

    I asked my sushi-master friend this P.M. on the telephone.

    He said that when they're eating Yukon River kings raw, they always freeze them as cold as possible, for a couple of days. If it's in the winter time at seriously cold outdoor temps, and they're taking some out of a somewhat warmer freezer, they'll lay them outside in a safe location for a couple of days of -40, or so.

    Otherwise, they just crank the freezer to the coldest setting. (mine gets down to just colder than -10).

    He said that the freezing schedule that they use is one recommended by a Doc, so there ya' go.

    He said that in the case of fresh ocean-caught fish, though he knows that there's some degree of risk, they eat them very fresh, without freezing at all, more often than not.

    In his case, river fish = 'Always freeze a couple of days at coldest temps possible.'

    Ocean fish = chow down when ever, where ever, how ever.

    But that's them. As stated earlier; to each their own.

    ruffle

  5. #5
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    homer, alaska
    Posts
    3,922

    Default

    what ruffle said sounds about right to me.
    what i have heard is -20 for 72 hrs, but i often eat saltwater fish (small halibut, rockfish, feeder king) fresh.
    i don't prepare any freshwater fish for sashimi, including salmon that have entered the rivers.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    fairbanks alaska
    Posts
    207

    Default ok

    thanx for the feedback. i've heard that there is a law requiring flash freezing before serving sushi/sashimi in restaurants. i'm sure i've seen parasites in saltwater fish. all those black lines in halibut. supposedly most of these die if frozen, cooked, smoked, or pickled. i just haven't heard any specifics on temps/time. however i have to believe homerdaves recommendation of -25 should be more than enough. i need to get a thermometer.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    64

    Default

    This is interesting as I was taught in culinary arts that you could not kill parasites by freezing them, merely slow their progress. One thing to keep in mind is the more acid (lime, orange, lactic acid from milk, especially buttermilk) and fermentations like soy or alcohol all perform a type of 'cooking' on the fish and parasite. Even the little bit of rice vinegar for the sushi rice make a difference. If you get into the sauces for sushi most have a vinegar or mirin base and that could protect you quite a bit besides adding flavor.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    91

    Default Guidelines from the FDA

    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/haccp4e.html

    One thing to keep in mind is the more acid (lime, orange, lactic acid from milk, especially buttermilk) and fermentations like soy or alcohol all perform a type of 'cooking' on the fish and parasite. Even the little bit of rice vinegar for the sushi rice make a difference. If you get into the sauces for sushi most have a vinegar or mirin base and that could protect you quite a bit besides adding flavor.
    I had agreed with this quote, but reading these guidelines makes me think we were in error.
    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
    Captain Steve's Fishing Lodge
    www.captainstevesfishinglodge.com

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    64

    Default

    Meat Purveyor,

    You are right about the freezing. I thought about it long and hard after posting and seemed to remember that some parasites were killed by freezing, although the acid not killing them is a new one to me. I guess the debate goes on if Sushi is safe or not. My doctor told me not to eat it when I was pregnant, and I thought what do the Japanese do when they are pregnant? Always questions, never a good enough answer.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    91

    Default You know, I just eat the sushi.

    I've been eating it for 25 years with no ill effects yet. You can only wrap yourself in so much bubble-wrap before you start to miss out on the best things in life.
    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
    Captain Steve's Fishing Lodge
    www.captainstevesfishinglodge.com

  11. #11

    Default

    Brian is freezing mine right now. Im not worried about it. If I were, that would mean Id have the other parasite...

    paranoia!!! I joke I joke
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •