We define sashimi grade as a fish having the correct high grade and specially handled to be eaten raw. Since we focus on processing our fish for raw consumption, every equipment and procedure is dedicated to the required special handling. Our receiving inspectors efficiently check for quality and freshness and fish not meeting our standards are rejected. For the fish that require more careful attention, we have the necessary technology for super freezing (see "What is super freezing?"). Markets that sell high quality fish intended for cooking must take extra steps and precautions to prepare fish for raw consumption to avoid cross contamination between the two categories of fish. This kind of caution is often overlooked while we maintain our diligent efforts in striving to keep our fish as fresh and safe as possible.
Super freezing is a flash freezing technology that maintains the peak freshness and taste . With a normal freezer, the fish is frozen over an extended period which kills the cells. However, using a super-freezer subjects the fish to -55 F (-48 C), freezing the fish at a rapid rate. Once thawed, you will not be able to tell the difference between fresh and deep-frozen fish. Except for tuna and some white fish, you will be surprised that many fish that is served in Japanese restaurants has been frozen. Food and Drug Administration regulations stipulate that fish to be eaten raw must be frozen first to kill parasites.
Fish should not smell fishy at all. It should have no smell or just with tint of "ocean" fragrance. In fact, very fresh salmon has a tint of fresh cut watermelon smell. Yes, it's true, coming from an insider who deals with fish almost everyday.