I'm curious whether the store-labeled "sushi grade" fish, like some salmon and scallops, can be made by cooking the fish sousvide and chilling it in the refrigerator afterwards.

  • 2
    Seafood for sushi is typically not cooked before being used, with the exception of a few things like shrimp. What's the outcome you're looking for from sous-vide? Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 22:16
  • I aim to remove any bacteria from the food so it's safe to eat but still has the "raw" flavor that sashimi is known for.
    – AdamO
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 3:34
  • 1
    If it's actually sushi-grade, it's safe to eat raw anyway, assuming it's from a reliable source. If it's full of bacteria despite being labelled for sushi I'd not trust that vendor for any application. Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 3:35
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    Eating raw fish, as per sashimi or sushi, is an inherently risky behavior. Unfortunately, there is no technique suitable for the home that would remove the risk and leave the dish in anything like its original state. I can only think of one potential method at all, even with industrial equipment, and that would be irradiation processing.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 13:15
  • Thanks. This does clear it up for me. I love sashimi immensely. I had heard several myths about what sushi grade entailed. I had been told it was in fact cooked a little bit without over cooking it. Sounded like sousvide to me. This clears it up for me. Thanks!
    – AdamO
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 18:41

3 Answers 3


Sous vide is a method to bring the interior of a meat to a safe temperature before applying a quick sear to the outside. The sear is purely for flavor and texture, not food safety.

Sushi grade fish is certified to have been processed (i.e. frozen, cut) in such a way that it's edible raw. The interior of a sushi grade salmon steak should have minimal bacteria if properly handled after purchase and isn't left to sit unrefrigerated.

So, to answer your question, yes, you can sous vide the fish, but I see no benefit, not even destroy meaningful amounts of bacteria (because there shouldn't be much there to begin with).

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    "Sushi grade" in most countries is not legally regulated (or certified) but a marketing term. Even in the regulation happy US there isn't anything more than recommendations from the FDA to hold fish at specific subzero temps for an extended time to kill any parasites, but its not law to do so. Having a reliable source and using a critical eye is still the best way to buy fish for sushi.
    – Emily Anne
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 1:05
  • I am familiar with the usual tips of selecting seafood, no fishy smell, no cloudy goo in shellfish, clear dark and hydrated eyes in some fish. Are there other tips for selecting sashimi?
    – AdamO
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 18:44
  • @ashkan this would be a separate question, so you should ask it in its own thread. But please make sure that it isn't already asked, else it will be closed as duplicate.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 19:49

You can make it that way, but then comes the question as to whether you are making real sushi. If it tastes good go for it. On youtube there's a fella who uses a brine before sous viding it. He soaks it for 24 hours, and this is supposed to keep the fish translucent while sous viding. I am going to attempt a modified version of this. I'm using non sushi grade salmon, and I am going to prepare it like normal sushi. I'm going to take the mostly finished roll and wrap it tightly in cellophane and sous vide at 135. There will be some white albumin visible I'm sure. I'm not going to do the full day brine, just a simple brine for an hour or two.

Then I'll take the finished roll and sprinkle on some sesame seeds and we shall see what we shall see.

If you have sushi grade I suppose their is no point in sous viding unless you want to be really safe. But in that case you could just buy regular salmon if you are going to sous vide it.


The simple answer is yes, you can cook fish labeled as "sushi-grade"...and you can use the technique of a low temperature water bath (sous vide) to do the cooking. You can cook and chill. The folks at ChefSteps (http://www.chefsteps.com/) have quite a bit of instruction on the topic of low-temp cooking. You can find specific examples for fish, particularly salmon, on their site.

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