Sashimi with shredded daikon and perilla leaves
Sashimi with shredded daikon and perilla leaves

What is Sashimi?

Sashimi means "pierced body". "Sashi" means pierced or stuck and "mi" means body or meat.

It is commonly used to refer to uncooked fish preparations in the English language.

It is usually defined as a piece of meat, not necessarily just seafood and not necessarily raw. It is typically draped over a garnish like shredded daikon (asian white radish) and can also be accompanied by perilla leaves. Look at the pictures above for an example of this.

To further clarify, it is not sushi because sushi is anything that is served with vinegared sushi rice and it is not served with sushi rice.  

It is normally served with a dipping sauce like soy sauce or ponzu sauce (a citrus based sauce made by mixing soy sauce, lemon juice, rice vinegar, dashi, and mirin - see recipe below).

Types of Sashimi

While Salmon and Tuna are very popular types, there are many other meats that are served too. Some common ones include: 

  • Puffer Fish (Fugu)
  • Yellowtail (Hamachi)
  • Salmon (Sake)
  • Squid (Ika)
  • Shrimp (Ebi)
  • Horse Mackeral (Aji)
  • Octopus (Tako)
  • Whale Meat (Gei-niku)
  • Sea Urchin (Uni)
  • Scallops (Hotate-gai)
  • Tuna (Maguro)
  • Mackeral (Saba)
  • Fatty Tuna (Otoro)

Sashi-mi is not necessarily Raw

While Octopus can be served raw, typically it is served boiled due to its chewy nature.   

There is also a type called Tataki that is prepared by lightly and quickly searing it on the outside. This leaves the center raw while the outside is slightly cooked. Then it is marinated in vinegar, sliced thinly and seasoned with fresh ground ginger or ginger that has been pounded into a paste.

So while the majority of items are served entirely raw, there are a few that are not.

Sashi-mi is not just Seafood

Chicken Sashimi called "Toriwasa"

Toriwasa is Chicken. It is considered a delicacy by some in Japan. There is also a Horse type called Basashi.

How to Prepare Salmon Sashimi

Catalina OP Premium Grade Scottish Salmon
Catalina OP Premium Grade Scottish Salmon

The pictures above are of  premium scottish salmon from Catalina OP(offshore products). Remove it from the plastic wrap (above right).

Removing outer brown layer from salmon

This cut will come with the skin removed, but there will probably be a slightly brown layer remaining. If you want to, you can remove this with your sushi knife like in the picture above. 

On the left hand side in the picture above do you see the pretty lines? This is the belly part and is the best tasting and most visually appealing part of the salmon to use for sashimi.

We will turn this piece around in the pictures below so this part will be on my left.

Slicing Salmon for sashimi or nigiri
Slicing Salmon for sashimi or nigiri

For salmon you can make your slices between 1/8 inch and 3/8 inch. I like mine thin, so I am slicing it like I would slice it for nigiri in the pictures above. But it's your choice if you are making it at home. Slice it how you like it!

Keep in mind that you can slice the meat off of the other side too. It just won't have the beautiful lines like in the belly area.

Homemade Ponzu Sauce

Homemade ponzu sauce is very easy to make.



Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. 

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David Guthrie, EzineArticles Basic Author