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Raw Fish Board (Plus How to Prep Raw Fish)


I am not an authority on food safety and I do not take responsibility for your decisions. I’m sharing what I know from personal research and experience. If you are still skeptical about eating raw fish, I encourage you to talk to your local fishmonger. Ask the chef at your local sushi restaurant, if you have one. Most importantly, do some research. Trust me, it’s worth the time! Read more on seriouseats.com, or check the FDA’s website for the official regulations. There are many great sources, though as with anything you will find a plethora of opinions, so try to read everything with an open mind.


How to Prepare Raw Fish

1. When buying fish to be used for sushi, ideally order the fish skinned, with all grey color from the bottom removed. I used a full side of salmon here, alternatively, you can opt for four-to-eight-inch-long portioned fillets. We will use this to create a “brick” of fish to use for sashimi, nigiri, raw fish platters, sushi salads and regular rolls. Always look for salmon with thick, even white lines of fat. Salmon with plenty of well distributed fat is more flavorful, like a well marbleized steak (although the fat on salmon is a lot more healthful). If you’re not buying a full side of salmon, make sure not to buy the tail of the fish, which isn’t thick enough to form a nice brick and won’t taste as good for sushi.
2. This next step is very important and will make a huge difference in the taste and texture of your fish (this applies to meats as well). With all fish, raw or cooked, it’s best to remove as much moisture as possible. This will make the fish firmer, easier to handle and more palatable. To remove moisture, wrap it in paper towels one or two at a time, until the paper towel comes off clean. While still wrapped in paper towel, let it chill in the fridge. It will be firmer and easier to slice evenly when very cold. The drying process is best done after the fish is already prepared as bricks because more surface area means more wet flesh is exposed, and we want to remove as much moisture as possible.
3. To create your salmon brick, first cut off the tail. Then cut lengthwise from the beginning of where the salmon slopes downwards. The same goes for the fatter side. Where the salmon dips downward, slice that off lengthwise as well. Use the trimmings for spicy salmon or for poke bowls, although it will be more difficult to get nice-looking slices. Now you should have a large rectangle. Next, slice lengthwise down the middle then widthwise down the middle. Now you should have four even brick-like pieces. (See 2nd picture in the gallery.)
4. Fresh tuna will often be sold as single steaks, with a somewhat triangular shape. We are looking to get rectangular slices, so cut off the top of the triangle, leaving you with a rectangular shape (see 3rd picture in the gallery). Use the scraps for spicy tuna and other dishes such as the Lemon Mint Tuna below.

Prepare the Lemon Mint Tuna

1. Mix cubed tuna (or salmon) with fresh mint in a small bowl. Finish with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice just before serving.

Assemble a Raw Fish Board

1. Fan out salmon and seared tuna slices in opposite directions. (When you create your own board, you can use any two types of raw fish.)
2. Arrange sliced cucumbers around the board and top them with wasabi paste and spicy salmon, in an alternating pattern.
3. Place lemon mint tuna on a sheet of nori, then fan out thin slices of lemon parallel to the nori.


Photos and Styling by Malky Levine