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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I ever do get a keeper king, I'd love to try some sashimi as I'm told kings are pretty good for that. In my searching I've found consistent advice about killing it quick, bleeding it, keeping it cold and gutting ASAP and keeping moisture off it in the fridge. I'm hearing different things about a few points though:

-it's good for ten days/three days
-sashimi from fresh frozen fish is fine/awful

Not expecting any firm consensus here, but I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has caught and prepared them this way a couple of times or more.
 

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I bleed, and often gut & gill, on capture (don't do this if sharks worry you, but the fish won't be as good), then place immediately in my insulated fishbag with Techi-ice sheets. When I get home, the fish come out already chilled through. I wrap them in glad wrap, whole, with scales if they're for sashimi, scaled if they're for cooking), and put them in the fridge on a large tray (I have a big fridge). The scaled fish keep less well than scales on. Don't stack stuff on them in the fridge.

There's debate about the best time for sashimi, but I get delicious (maybe peak) results at 2 days old, still good at 3, maybe a little too soft from day 4 on (when fish are stored whole). Fillets will become unsuitable for sashimi overnight or sooner. For kingfish for cooking (stored whole), they're still good on day 5, maybe day 6.

I immediately freeze leftover skinned fillets, vacuum sealed, and they thaw well, but definitely not sashimi quality. I use these mostly in curries. Commercially blast frozen fish is not comparable to what we can do in domestic freezers, and probably can achieve sashimi quality (it can for tuna).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Jon, that catch handling guide is great, I didn't know about wiring down the spine and how that affects things after death. Cheers for the storage info Dave. I don't have a lot of hungry mouths handy at short notice for a baked king so I think I'll cut the tail 1/3 up the body for sashimi and fillet and freeze the rest. The cut'll presumably affect the storage period?
 

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Squidley said:
I don't have a lot of hungry mouths handy at short notice for a baked king so I think I'll cut the tail 1/3 up the body for sashimi and fillet and freeze the rest. The cut'll presumably affect the storage period?
I reckon the best sashimi comes from the head end of the fish, in that it's thicker, denser & fattier, esp the belly side. It's nice to do both belly & back sashimi for contrast. I'd probably whip both fillets off immediately before required for the first meal, cut one into cutlets & freeze, prepare the head end of the other as sashimi & the tail end pan fried (as skin on cutlets). For a just legal fish, you'd get a good meal for two from one fillet. I don't consider kingfish suitable for any form of baking (delighted to be proven wrong here though).
 

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Squidley said:
Thanks guys. Jon, that catch handling guide is great, I didn't know about wiring down the spine and how that affects things after death. Cheers for the storage info Dave. I don't have a lot of hungry mouths handy at short notice for a baked king so I think I'll cut the tail 1/3 up the body for sashimi and fillet and freeze the rest. The cut'll presumably affect the storage period?
The wire/mono down the spine trick is probably lost on kingys. Tunas will 'shiver' once caught, which in turn raises their core temp very quickly just prior to death - core temp is extremely important if selling big blues into the japanese market, and the buyers can 'read' the flesh of the fish and know immediately how it has been handled, killed and prepped. Hence why the record prices for fish are from locally caught product which is gotten to market very quickly. The wire to destroy the spinal column is to stop the spasm signals.

Kingys are just big tough muscly bastards compared to the pedigree tunas. One thing to watch with kingys especially around southern qld, is they can suffer from an ailment whereby they catch and clean perfectly well, but when the fillets hit some heat the proteins break down then the the flesh turns to mush and falls straight through the grill plate of the barby - most embarassing when you think you're about to cater for the extended family. Anyone else been caught short by it?
 

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Why did he invent wasabi and soy sauce then? Sorry mate, cold raw yellowfin is just amazing on its own - add a few condiments and its mind bending. I understand where you're coming from though, its a leap of faith and one that needs to be taken with someone who knows how to prepare it.
 

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Hello there - just new to this but couldn't resist the sashimi question as have spent a good many years in the tuna industry.
The quality of sashimi story starts when you hook the fish. Well at least the things that you have some control over. If you take 20 min to land your fish then the biochemistry of the flesh will be changed compared to one you land in a minute. The more energy left in the flesh at dispatch the better as there is more fuel to enhance the flavour so if you want it for sashimi get it in quickly. The dispatch method makes less difference as if you took 20mis to catch it a few seconds less to kill it will make little diffence. That said best to be quick clean and humane as not doing that is a good way to ruin your appetite. After that dropping the core temperature of the fish is important - for the tunas this is best achieved by gilling and gutting along the lines already shown in this post string, and immersing the carcass in an ice slurry (you can use a salt water one but be careful not to partially freeze your fish as salt slurry can get below zero degrees C). You can then have shasimi for about six ( six ice days) where the flesh is kept at or below zero degrees C. With tunas the whole carcass is ok in the slurry until you butcher it - then you have to keep the water off the flesh With other fish i would get it out of contact with the water in the slurry within a couple of hours. If you eat your sashimi on day one you will find it a bit bland - by 24-36 hours after dispatch (in ice slurry) it should be really tasty with the flesh flavour enhancers at their peak. After that small losses in flavour will gradually become apparent and muscle structure changes will make the texture less ' crisp'.
So: land yor sashimi quickly;drop the core temp quickly; kept it on ice if you want to have sashimi for up to a week; on ice your sashimi will be best for these species (and most) after 24-36 hours; make sure your sashimi doesn't get water logged in your ice slurry. Finally if you look at you soy sauce bottle you will see inosine mono phosphate (IMP) that's the thing that peaks in fish muscle when it is at its best (sweet and meaty).
Cheers
Phil
 

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No worries - sashimi is great and a wonderful treat - I always enjoy YTK sashimi rolled in spices and lightly cooked down to a couple of mm on the outside - reamaining raw in the middle. Tuna is just fine all raw. Looking back at the original question I missed a couple of things:
- Bleeding is always a good idea (lateral veins on the tuna and gills in the YTK).
- If eating pelagics from the Nth hemisphere I think freezing is not a bad insurance policy against a nasty parasite.
- In the Sth - I think unfrozen is v low risk - currently.
- If you are eating sashimi FW fish - my advice is don't.

Have a really good recipie for gravalax that works with fish from mullet to tuna - but perhaps another day
Phil-Phisher
 

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Phisher said:
- If you are eating sashimi FW fish - my advice is don't.

Have a really good recipie for gravalax that works with fish from mullet to tuna - but perhaps another day
Phil-Phisher
I must have missed? FW fish - pls explain?

Gravlax recipe - yes please.

Can't agree with your 36hr is better comment - I am sure no sashimi grade fish I've ever caught has lasted more than about 12 :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Freshwater presumably. So there isn't a need to make a cut behind the pectoral fin on kingfish, just get into the gills? Should the join between the belly and the head be left intact as with tuna?
 

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Phisher said:
- If you are eating sashimi FW fish - my advice is don't.
Liver flukes?

One of my friends who accompanied me to catch tuna is a surgeon, and over a delicate dinner, he explained how liver flukes can end up anywhere in your body. He cited a case where one poor fellow had his brains eaten out. This is not something you can fix with surgery, medication, or scotch tape. It makes for curious conversation when you're eating sushi, however.

Holey grey matter, batman.
 

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Ok - gravlax recipe that I promised - seems like the conversation on sashimi went far toward the worst possible scenario :shock:
You can use this for any reasonably oily fish that is also firm (have tried it on Aust salmon and it is ok but not the best fish).
You need a couple of fillets of fish with skin on - it needs to be only a couple of cm think at the most.
Prepare a mix of salt and sugar 1:1 in a container. ( you need to have enough to cover the fillets generously)
Finely chop a generous portion of fresh dill and set aside. (other herbs can be used as desired but dill is a staple).
Place the fillets skin down on a large piece of plastic film.
Spread the salt and sugar mix liberally on the flesh of the fillets so that the whole fillet is covered.
liberally sprinkle the finely chopped dill on the surface of both of the fillets until it is all green. use plenty!
Using the plastic film bring one filet onto the top of the other with the flesh surfaces together and the skin surfaces on the outside.
Wrap the fillets firmly in the plastic film and use more film to create a parcel.
You can then place the whole thing in a freezer bag and seal it to stop fluid loss and spillage in the fridge.
Place the fish parcel flat on a plate and place another plate on top (firmly) - leave in the fridge for 48h, turning the fish at 24h by flipping the plates.
To serve:
Open the plastic parcel and slice the fish thinly - it should be firm and translucent.
If you let white bread got stale for a couple of days (or use a sour dough) it makes a great toast with this.
You also will benefit to serve this with sweet mustard spread on the toast - with the gravlax on top. There is a specific recipe for the mustard sauce but I have sworn not to tell.
The fish is best at 48h but will keep a couple of days - mine never lasts that long. :)
 
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