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How To Handle Raw Fish

While raw fish may seem like a strange dinner choice for some, chefs around the world are constantly experimenting with new ways to include raw fish and seafood on restaurant menu’s. Read the post Raw Fish Is Delish! for basic info on the most popular recipes where raw or partially cooked fish is used. The photo’s are guaranteed to convince you to try it at least once!

If you do not feel comfortable tackling (excuse the pun!) raw fish or seafood recipes on your own, be sure to book a culinary lesson for yourself or a group of friends and learn first hand how to create drool-worthy meals.

Choose High Quality Fish or Seafood
One of the most important steps when preparing raw fish at home is to start with a high quality product, i.e. the fish must be fresh. There are a number of ways to determine whether or not the fish at your local grocery store is fresh. First, the flesh of the fish should be relatively translucent, and should appear damp while not being wet. In addition, the eye of the fish should be clear and shiny. Finally, avoid seafood that gives off a strong “fishy” odor. Fresh fish should not produce a strong smell.

Maintain Sanitary Working Surfaces
Once you make your purchase and get the fish home, it is important to ensure that you follow some basic sanitary precautions in order to prevent food borne illness. Clear a working space in your kitchen. Place a large wooden cutting board that has been thoroughly washed and dried on the counter top.  If you are preparing other food items at the same time as the raw fish, make sure to use separate cutting boards as well as knives for the different food items. Using the same cutting board can easily transfer germs from one food item to another. Finally, be sure to carefully wash your hands before working with the raw fish. Also, don’t contaminate other equipment or ingredients, e.g.a pepper grinder with raw fish germs by touching it without washing your hands first.

Use a Sharp Knife to Prepare the Fish
When preparing raw fish, it is essential that you use a high quality, sharp knife to cut the fish. With raw fish, half of the meal is in the appearance. Therefore, in order to produce a product that both looks and tastes delicious, you must use a sharp chef’s knife. The knife should be able to easily cut through large pieces of fish with one slice.

Keep the Fish Cold
Finally, in order to prevent any possible food borne illness, be sure to keep the fish cold at all times. Line a shallow plastic tray with a layer of crushed ice. Cover the ice with a layer of cling wrap and lay the fish straight onto the cling wrap in a single layer. Cover the tray with another piece of cling wrap and cover in a layer of crushed ice.  Store the fish on the bottom shelf of your fridge, furthest away from the door. Keep the fish in the fridge and take it out immediately before serving. The fish can be kept cold in the same way while you are working with it.

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