What is sashimi?

Sashimi is fresh, raw fish that is sliced very thinly and served uncooked. A traditional Japanese dish, it is usually served with daikon radish, pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce as the first course in a meal.

As sashimi is eaten raw, the fish must be best quality, and it should be as fresh as possible – some Japanese restaurants keep the fish alive in tanks right up to the minute they prepare it. Highly skilled chefs train for years to perfect the art of slicing the fish, according to variety, to maximise enjoyment. Having said that, it is possible to make sashimi at home, so long as the fish is super-fresh, and it's handled properly.

Availability of sashimi

All year round.

Choose the best sashimi

If buying raw fish to make sushi at home, make sure it is as fresh as possible – only buy it from a fishmonger that you trust. The signs to look for in whole fish are skin that is shiny, moist and slippery, with no missing scales; clear bright eyes that aren't sunken; red or pink gills; a firm body and a stiff tail. Filleted fish should be firm, translucent, and cut neatly, with no ragged edges.

How to prepare sashimi

Keep the raw fish in the fridge right up to the point when you're about to prepare it. Make sure both your kitchen and your hands are cool (run your hands under cold water first if necessary). Work quickly and, once it is cut, return the fish to the fridge immediately, unless you are going to eat it straight away. Eat within 4 hours.

How to store sashimi

Put the fresh fish in the fridge as soon as you get home. Use it on the same day.

How to cook sashimi

The best fish for sashimi are tuna, sea bass, red mullet, halibut, salmon, and sea bream. The best seafood includes scallop, lobster, squid and octopus.

Alternatives to sashimi

Try ceviche or crudo.