I have a bag of frozen ahi tuna steaks purchased from Costco. Some of them have been quite tasty when seared. That said, I heartily enjoy raw tuna, so I am intrigued with the idea of trying them raw.

Fwiw, the steaks are not labeled as sushi grade, but I am not sure how much that really matters. From my brief research, it appears that the primary determining factor for what qualifies as sushi grade is the fat & oil content of the fish. That might imply that these wouldn't be as tasty as fresh sushi, but it does not really have any bearing on whether or not these steaks would be good without searing.

Is there any reason that they specifically need to be seared?

  • 1
    from the sound of it you have been thawing, searing and eating with basically a raw interior already? if so then I don't see how not searing is making a big difference from what your already consuming.
    – Brendan
    Apr 6, 2013 at 4:40

3 Answers 3


With fish, you have two safety concerns: parasites and bacteria.

Freezing gets rid of parasites. It does not kill bacteria. You need heat to kill bacteria, that's why officially, food is only considered safe after being cooked to a specific temperature. Eating thawed uncooked fish is officially unsafe, and if you tried to sell it to people, the FDA would come after you.

This being said, if your personal safety standards are not as high as the FDA's (which are extremely conservative), nobody will stop you from eating it. It shouldn't be more dangerous than sushi, as long as you eat it immediately after thawing. There is the small probability of it being kept around some time before freezing (as opposed to sushi-intended fish which should be frozen on the boat immediately), but as fish deteriorates really quickly after death, you should be able to notice it smelling fishy if this is the case.


The USDA and FDA doesn't technically have a "Sushi Grade" for fish...its more about how fresh it is, and how it was frozen when packaged..d ..Like with Salmon, you'd really only want to purchase a filet or slab of salmon that was a more fresh delivery to the store and defrosted no ealier than that morning so you can use it that day and no more than the next morning...I'm sure you'd want to use the same logic on your Tuna. Try this link...Pretty standard and good info.. http://www.sushifaq.com/sushi-sashimi-info/sushi-grade-fish/


Atlantic Bluefin 'Sushi/Sashimi Grade tuna' (Ahi is Yellowfin not the same species as Atlantic Bluefin) is only available from certified wholesalers, usually buying whole fish which are extremely expensive. All bluefin species are highly prized for sushi and sashimi. Know your fishmonger! If you don't, beware of what you're buying. Escolar is widely being sold as fresh tuna! It is NOT!

Escolar has been banned from consumption in Japan since 1977, as the Japanese government considers it toxic! I'm lucky to be able to only buy from my fishmonger, whose family has been fishing for generations. Fresh caught (in season) & frozen immediately to kill parasites. I read that some people buy from places like Costco etc. Don't!

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    The people in this thread think that Costco's frozen Ahi is pretty high quality. chowhound.chow.com/topics/893242
    – Philip
    Apr 8, 2015 at 3:40
  • @Philip Sams club Tuna consumer checking in. Yuuuum.
    – g33kz0r
    Apr 10, 2019 at 0:21

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