Sushi is a meal that tastes best when the fish is fresh. The fish can be frozen to retain the flavour and freshness or cooked immediately they leave the waters depending on the supply and demand needs of the local environment.
If you are planning to treat yourself to an amazing meal, or you perhaps want to offer sushi catering services like Pink Rice, then here are some tips to help you get the best fish for your meals. The overall aim is to spot a fresh fish, and you'll be dancing your way to the kitchen.
Get fish during season
The best time to purchase fish would be when it is in season. This will ascertain that the fish hasn't stayed out of the waters for too long before you buy it. Species of fish are all different and have unique harvesting periods.
Mackerel for instance, is mainly harvested in the beginning of May to September. Here's a season guide to help you with that. Some sellers have aquariums where you could purchase a live fish. You will be very sure of how fresh it is when you buy it from such a store.
Analyse the nature of the fish
When buying your fish, check the eyes. They should bulge out and be clear in fresh fish apart from a few exceptions such as walleye pike that usually have naturally clouded eyes. The smell of the fish shouldn't be too distinct because a fresh fish doesn't give away a strong fish smell. The stronger the fishy smell is, the less fresh it is.
Also feel the fish. A raw fish is firm enough and springs back when pressed. The exterior should also be shiny and fish that have been through a freezer lose this shine and have probably stayed longer out of their waters. Stay away from mushy flesh, as it is not ideal for sushi. Check for any presence of blemishes that may exist on the skin surface, they may be a sign of diseased fish.
Check the colour
Shades of green and yellow are not a good sign in fish unless they naturally exist with that colour, an example being the sea urchin, which is yellow. Most sushi fish should have a red colouring—but beware of the ones that are extremely bright red. Treating a fish with carbon monoxide gives them the bright colour and makes them look appealing and fresher than they actually are. If you spot such a colour, ask if the fish was treated.