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Old 09-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #1
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Definition of "Sushi Grade"

Ok, so I always thought "sushi grade" meant that it was extremely fresh, like caught the same day. However, I noticed my local grocer was selling "sushi grade Ahi Tuna steaks" that are vacuum sealed. I asked the fish guy about it, and he said that the steaks can remain sushi grade for a few months because they are vacuum sealed.

Is this true? It would be great if it was, so I could make seared tuna steaks without having to go to an asian market to get good tuna..

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Old 09-10-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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I don't think 'sushi grade' is part of any official grading system for fish and shellfish. It's a marketing term used to suggest freshness and top quality.

It's difficult to judge the freshness of fish that's vacuum sealed. I find grocery store fish counter to be very inconsistent in the freshness of their fish. If you can find the fish counter by following the smell, don't.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:48 AM   #3
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Look HERE

"...I have spoken with many in the seafood industry who supply ‘sushi grade’ fish for sushi and sashimi served at restaurants and they all give me the same answer… they do not know of any regulations from either the FDA or any other agencies regarding 'sushi grade' seafood, which is why suppliers set up their own micro and chemical parameters for their products. A personal search of FDA documents turns up the same results, no clear standards as to what makes fish 'sushi grade' or 'sashimi grade' and no definition of the term..."
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:57 AM   #4
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Well that's interesting...

So is there any idea how long fish can stay fresh enough to eat raw when vacuum-sealed?
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:04 AM   #5
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well, there is a big debate on that as well. If frozen, a year, if not I would use it with in 4 days, MAX, but that is just me. No matter how I get seafood, I use it the same day in about 99% of the occasions.

Cryovac is a great tool for prolonging shelf life, but when it comes to seafood, better safe then sorry. Let your nose be your guide, and if it is slimy or sticky, get rid of it.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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Because fish degrades so rapidly, you want to use your fish on the day of purchase for best flavor and texture. It will stay good longer, but when eating something like sushi you should use it as soon as possible for better sushi.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:08 PM   #7
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well, there is a big debate on that as well. If frozen, a year, if not I would use it with in 4 days, MAX, but that is just me. No matter how I get seafood, I use it the same day in about 99% of the occasions.

Cryovac is a great tool for prolonging shelf life, but when it comes to seafood, better safe then sorry. Let your nose be your guide, and if it is slimy or sticky, get rid of it.
Sous vide fish should be used within 45 days for freshest quality...assuming it's held under proper conditions. Personally, I'd use it within 20.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:41 PM   #8
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Sous vide fish should be used within 45 days for freshest quality...assuming it's held under proper conditions. Personally, I'd use it within 20.
"Sous vide"?
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:57 PM   #9
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From what I've seen, when the fish are brought in to be auctioned off, there is an inspector who takes samples from each fish. The samples are then graded and the fish are priced, auctioned off, and then sold accordingly. The best quality fish usually go directly to the restaurants or to the purveyors who well then sell the fish to the restaurants. The rest of the fish go to the purveyors who then sell them to the supermarkets.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:00 PM   #10
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"Sous vide"?
Sous Vide is a French term for cooking food "under vacuum".
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:10 PM   #11
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"Sous vide"?
It’s an technique invented in 1974. It’s French and literally means under vacuum. In this technique, food is sealed in a vacuum pouch, and then placed in water that is kept at a low temp (between 140F and 160F). The vacuum sealed food stays in the water for a long time, up to 24-30 hours or longer. Doing it this way cooks the food to the temperature of the water with no added fat, no direct heat, and no lost or added moisture. It reduces shrinkage and increases flavor.

It’s a very popular method of interrupted cooking were the food is cooked in this manner and then frozen or stored to be reheated later. Of late, it has gained popularity with restaurants for uninterrupted cooking.

Of critical importance in this technique is keeping the water at precisely the right temperature for the whole time. This is difficult to do, and special equipment is used by restaurants to do so.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:16 PM   #12
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The sous vide issue is off course here. The OP was asking about vacuum packed fresh fish.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:25 PM   #13
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Well thanks for all the help...I guess I'll give it a try. Or I could just wait for our new Wegmans to open next week. They supposedly have the best fish you can get anywhere around. We'll see about that...
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:11 PM   #14
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wegmans does have a great selection. I am a little partial to Whole Foods, but wegmans is my close second.
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