Choosing and Preparing the Right Fish
Almost any fish can be used to prepare sashimi. However, the best flavours tend to come from scallop, squid, tuna, kingfish, snapper and flounder.
The preparation part is where it gets a little tricky. When it comes to raw fish, freshness is important, but there's a lot more to it.
The flavour and texture of the fish differ depending on size and type, so chefs need to know the best way to prepare their fish of choice.
As a general rule of thumb, smaller fish, prawns and squid are best eaten as soon as they're dispatched.
Larger fish like flounder and snapper are sometimes rested on ice for a few hours to relax their muscles and soften the meat.
For very large fish like tuna, some chefs actually age them for a week or two to fully enhance the flavour!
Once the fish has been selected, it is filleted, skinned and sliced. There are quite a few different techniques to slicing; common ones include the hira-zukuri (rectangular slice) and usu-zukuri (thin slice).
The hira-zukuri is used for fishes from half a centimeter to 1 centimeter wide, such as tuna, kingfish and salmon.
The usu-zukuri is used for firm, white fish with thin fillets like bream, flounder and whiting.