If you fancy an on the go meal, sushi is a convenient food to go. Not only known for its lavish history and an artful preparation, but sushi also has that savory taste that fits almost all taste buds. You can order a small pack of varieties sushi or a big sushi platters for your corporate team and try all types of sushi and you’ll end up wanting more. It’s the small bite-size fish and vegetables covered with tasty cold rice that gets us hooked on this food. We know it is delicious and satisfying food to order but how would you know if you are eating fresh sushi when it is all packed and ready to go? There’s no harm in checking it first before consuming it. Here some helpful tips on how to know if you are eating fresh sushi to get the most pleasing sushi eating experience.
When it comes to knowing if your sushi is fresh, your senses are a reliable source to depend on. It will give you first-hand information on the situation surrounding your sushi before digging in and will make you a more satisfied and happy sushi eater.
The way it looks
Sushi is perfect for working lunch or dinner, understand some simple checking steps will help you got a fresh and delicious meal. It’s the first look that gives us the first impression if it’s fresh or not. Sushi is consists of rice, veggies, and fish but it’s the fish that we should look first because it can make or break the freshness of the sushi. You need to take a closer look at the meat of the fish that should be radiant, bright and free from any discoloration or blemished spots. When it looks dull and slimy then you know that the sushi is off. Some restaurants or sushi bars may use frozen fish to preserve its freshness but you can still see the bright color it brings out that will help in distinguishing easily if it is stale or not. Another thing that you should know is that it’s a common practice for the food industry to gas up the fish with carbon monoxide to make it appear more shiny and pink. Well, don’t fall for that, not all pinkish tuna is fresh instead see if brown spots are forming on the edges. If it does then it’s better to ditch it off and order some vegetable sushi instead.
How it smells
If looks can be deceiving, then you can always rely on your sense of smell. It is one way to know if the sushi is fresh or not. One thing to remember is that a fresh fish doesn’t have any smell on it. So, if say the tuna fish has a smell then something fishy is going on with your sushi and the fish that was used is not of good quality. Tuna fish that is frozen properly on the same day it was caught and served a moment after to your plate should not be giving out a fishy smell or any sea smell. It should be clear from any smell period. Likewise, a restaurant or a sushi bar that smells strongly of fish should be a warning sign that they don’t serve fresh sushi.
On the other hand, it should look white and should hold firm and not soggy. The nori seaweed should also look crispy on the outside. However, one culprit that makes sushi fails in the freshness department is that if it sits for too long outside a counter without proper cooling to keep it fresh. When this happens the rice will leave moisture that will absorb by the nori and will become mushier. This is one indication that the sushi is on its way to becoming stale.
You can feel it
If you are convinced that the look and smell are not enough to fully tell if the sushi is fresh or not, you can turn on your sense of touch to feel the freshness of sushi. You can touch the meat of the fish to know if it is firm. Firmness is an indicator that the fish is fresh. Another way is to press it down carefully. If it bounces back to its original shape and does not leave any indentation or finger marks on it then you can go ahead and enjoy eating your sushi. If perhaps you want to order your sushi for a take-out, then it is also best to check on the packaging. A well-packed sushi meal means that its packaging is clean and that the sushi was packed in a constant temperature that protects it from condensation and mushy pulpy softness.
Now that you have tested all 3 safety criteria above on the sushi and found out it does not conform fully on how it should look, smell and touch, then there is no way that you can taste it unless you are one adventurous person to invite food poisoning or an allergy attack. But let’s say that the sushi has passed the look, smell and feel test, then the final check is to safely taste the sushi itself. Raw fish like salmon should have a soft texture and a melt in your mouth effect with every bite. While tuna should be tender and meaty but feels clean and light. They should blend well with sauces and wasabi. Overall, the sushi should be intact as you dip it in the sauces. Parts that are falling when you carry sushi with chopsticks over the sauces would mean that the sushi wasn’t prepared well and its freshness might be in question. So make sure that it not only tastes good but it should hold itself together firmly.
When eating sushi or ordering sushi platters to have with friends or colleagues, it is best to ask for some recommendations on what restaurants, sushi bars or a good caterer serve fresh sushi. You can do that by turning to your friends who might have eaten sushi in a great restaurant or you can go online for restaurants reviews that offer sushi. Once you found a restaurant that makes great sushi, it is also best to check if they have a sushi chef because it will reassure you that the sushi they made is fresh every day.