How To Safely Turn Tuna Steak Into Sashimi Without Going To The ER

Sushi lovers often don't hesitate to dole out copious amounts of money on modest sashimi. To an unfamiliar eater, the difference between sushi and sashimi is that the latter doesn't have any of the rice or seaweed wrapped around it; it's pure raw fish eaten with a simple dipping sauce. While it might seem like an overrated dish, there's more than meets the eye with sashimi. Much of the price paid is for the time-honored precision of a seasoned chef's hands as well as the supreme freshness of the food that makes it a gastronomic experience like no other.

Sashimi's simple exquisiteness can be addictive, but of course, going to a restaurant multiple times a week to enjoy it might be impossible. When cravings peak but you don't have the time or money to visit a fancy sushi place, there is a safe and easy way to make sashimi at home so you can enjoy the dish without worry of getting a foodborne illness. For tuna sashimi, all you need is some frozen tuna steak and a little bit of patience.

Since fish the main event in sashimi, it's important to buy fresh and frozen tuna that has been labeled as sushi-grade or sashimi-grade, which is generally considered safe to eat raw as long as it's handled with caution. The FDA suggests buying tuna that has firm and bright red flesh without any signs of discoloration. Most kinds of frozen tuna steak should also be stored at temps of at least -4 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours minimum, which eliminates most parasites.

How to prepare tuna steak to make sashimi

Once you bring home your purchase of frozen tuna steak, keep on ice until you're ready to eat it. Once you unpack the frozen slab of fish, dip it in a bath of salt water for about three to five minutes and pat dry with a paper towel. Then, wrap the dry tuna with a fresh paper towel and pop it in a ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for about five hours until it fully thaws. If the tuna shows any signs of degradation like a funky smell, it's not safe to consume. If the smell and color are normal, the tuna is likely safe to eat raw.

When you're ready to prepare it for eating, it's absolutely vital that you use clean tools and cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination while handling sashimi. There are several ways to cut sashimi, whether you like think rectangular slices or squared cubes, but no matter your style, always keep the slices even and cut against the grain of the fish to keep it from falling apart (use a clean and sharp knife for clean cuts). 

For the dipping sauce, you can simply use soy sauce, or make an elevated option by mixing soy sauce with garlic, ginger, chili, and coriander. You can safely store sashimi in the fridge for about one to two days, per Healthline. Though, always avoid letting it sit at room temperature for more than two hours to avoid any contamination.