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Sushi-grade whaaat?

Sushi-grade whaaat?
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  • Sushi-grade whaaat?

    Post #1 - June 15th, 2007, 7:47 am
    Post #1 - June 15th, 2007, 7:47 am Post #1 - June 15th, 2007, 7:47 am
    About once every couple weeks, Cookie manages to stop at The Fish Guy before they close to pick up whatever looks good and affordable for me to cook up for dinner. (It's a bit like my own personal Iron Chef challenge when I come home to a mystery ingredient that I have to prepare in a reasonable amount of time with on-hand ingredients).

    This week I came home to find a nice thick, skin-on fillet of grouper that I seared in butter and olive oil, finished in a hot oven, and smothered in sauteed purple spring onions from the farmer's market.

    While we were eating, I asked Cookie what else The Fish Guy had today (usually, at the end of the day the inexpensive pickings are slim but there are a few interesting, more expensive options).

    "They had some sushi-grade tilapia," she said.

    "Excuse me?", I replied.

    "Sushi-grade tilapia".

    "That's what I thought you said, I just wanted to make sure I heard you right."

    So, a bunch of questions flooded into my head. Who the hell needs sushi-grade tilapia? Certianly not a sushi chef. What does "sushi-grade" mean anyway? And who are these people producing sushi-grade tilapia? Are they also making prime, dry-aged steak-umms?

    After some searches, I came across a few sources that all pointed to the same explanation about "sushi grade", this one being the most comprehensive. It essentially means "really, really frozen".

    I guess "sushi grade tilapia" sounds a lot better than "previously super-frozen pond-chicken".

    Best,
    Michael

    The Fish Guy
    4423 N. Elston Ave.
    Chicago
    1-888-fish-guy
    http://www.fishguy.com/
  • Post #2 - June 15th, 2007, 8:10 am
    Post #2 - June 15th, 2007, 8:10 am Post #2 - June 15th, 2007, 8:10 am
    eatchicago wrote:And who are these people producing sushi-grade tilapia? Are they also making prime, dry-aged steak-umms?

    Michael,

    I find this almost unreasonably funny.

    Gary 'easy to amuse' Wiviott
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - June 15th, 2007, 8:48 am
    Post #3 - June 15th, 2007, 8:48 am Post #3 - June 15th, 2007, 8:48 am
    A sushi chef told me that in the U.S., shiromi is usually frozen tilapia.
  • Post #4 - June 15th, 2007, 9:26 am
    Post #4 - June 15th, 2007, 9:26 am Post #4 - June 15th, 2007, 9:26 am
    Bill/SFNM wrote:A sushi chef told me that in the U.S., shiromi is usually frozen tilapia.


    True. Shiromi means seasonal whitefish, which tilapia is.
    When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!
  • Post #5 - June 16th, 2007, 10:16 pm
    Post #5 - June 16th, 2007, 10:16 pm Post #5 - June 16th, 2007, 10:16 pm
    Apparently, at Chicago sushi restaurants, "sushi-grade" tilapia is called "red snapper."

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/3794 ... 10.article
  • Post #6 - June 17th, 2007, 9:02 am
    Post #6 - June 17th, 2007, 9:02 am Post #6 - June 17th, 2007, 9:02 am
    Welcome to Izumidai

    Image

    Image

    As mentioned in previous posts and the poster linked above, many U.S. sushi restaurants have been selling izumidai frozen tilapia fillets in place of snapper, which is why I don't eat "snapper" sushi in most U.S. sushi places.

    An interesting notion you bring up regarding "pond chicken," as MOST places serving sushi-grade salmon is typically farm-raised Atlantic salmon - offering Norwegian or Scottish farm-raised in "better" places and Chilean in others. All those buttery, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of "orange-color-enhanced" sake you've been enjoying at your local sushi bar are... "sea-pen chickens."

    So, I suppose in theory, if you're not averse to eating farm-raised, antibiotic laden, color-enhanced Atlantic salmon as sushi/sashimi, the next step would be tilapia.

    ALSO... hamachi (or yellowtail) actually comes in wild AND farm-raised versions... oftentimes the difference can be appreciated in the color of the fish. Another source of "sea-pen chicken."
    http://www.catalinaop.com/Farmed_Yellow ... sh_1b1.htm

    NOW... let's mention kanpachi... think you're getting something special? It's actually a "breed" of farmed yellowtail from Hawaii.

    Last but not least... maguro... Did you know they also farm-raise sushi-grade tuna? Yes it's true... These are caught young at sea and then raised in pens. This "video clip" of how they raise bluefin tuna comes from True World's own website:
    http://www.trueworldfoods.com/tunamovie.php

    Tuna farming in the Mediterranean:
    http://www.eurocbc.org/page809.html

    Australian farmed bluefin:
    http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:fL ... d=11&gl=us

    Buy it HERE or actually EVERYWHERE!
    http://www.catalinaop.com/Fresh_Farmed_ ... sh_1a2.htm

    Finally an interesting article about the fate of Tsukiji and this phenom of farm-raised tuna.

    " For example, Aeon Co., Japan's largest retailer, with 300 stores, buys only farmed tuna directly from importers because it allows for better planning and helps reduce costs, spokeswoman Kaori Watanabe says."
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... efer=japan
  • Post #7 - June 17th, 2007, 9:31 am
    Post #7 - June 17th, 2007, 9:31 am Post #7 - June 17th, 2007, 9:31 am
    The real problem with all these farm-raised fish will be the loss of the nutritional value and health benefits initially proposed, as farm-raised sea fish tend to have less of the cardiovascular-beneficial omega3's and have higher levels of PCB's, dioxins and heavy metals, not to mention having been raised with antibiotics and possibly color-enhancing feed pellets. Taste-wise, because they are farmed, they'll be "fattier," but is it really worth it? Considering that many on this board are all about organic, free-range, antibiotic-free, natural-is-better, grass-fed when referring to poultry, eggs, dairy and meat, what's your opinion on the sushi you're eating? I'll leave the environmental impact from depletion of wild stocks for feed, pollution, etc. for a perhaps later discussion.

    Hey, sushi is my favorite food, and I'm obsessed with seafood in general... but sometimes it's almost depressing thinking about what one can safely and ethically eat.
  • Post #8 - July 10th, 2008, 1:33 pm
    Post #8 - July 10th, 2008, 1:33 pm Post #8 - July 10th, 2008, 1:33 pm
    Tilapia just gets no respect (deservedly). This from today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

    Tilapia bad for your health?

    By Faye Flam

    INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
    Consider the latest food to hit the danger list: farm-raised tilapia.

    Researchers from Wake Forest University Medical Center say you're better of with a big juicy burger than with this mild, low-fat fish, which turns out to be high in an unhealthful form of fat called long-chain omega-6 fatty acids, especially when it's produced by fish farms.

    Long chain omega-6 fats promote inflammation associated with heart disease, asthma, some cancers, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and other conditions, said Floyd Chilton, professor of physiology at Wake Forest and head of the study.

    Is there anything left that the experts say we should eat? Not much, said Chilton, thanks to a large-scale corruption of the American food chain with cheap corn feed. That has altered the composition of fats found in beef, chicken, eggs and farmed fish, such as catfish and tilapia.

    In tests, the researchers found that grain-fed tilapia concentrated even more of the worst fats than did grain-fed beef.

    One animal-based food that Chilton recommends is wild-caught fish, such as salmon and sardines, since they contain inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, he said, public health officials have been wrongly telling people to get more of this important nutrient by eating more fish without specifying what kind.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #9 - July 10th, 2008, 3:36 pm
    Post #9 - July 10th, 2008, 3:36 pm Post #9 - July 10th, 2008, 3:36 pm
    eatchicago wrote:I guess "sushi grade tilapia" sounds a lot better than "previously super-frozen pond-chicken".

    ROFL

    Mmmm, pond-chicken.

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