Last Updated on June 23, 2023 by Shari Mason
Raw salmon is a popular dish in sushi and sashimi, but it can also be enjoyed in other ways, such as in tartare or ceviche.
However, it’s important to take some precautions to ensure that the raw salmon is safe to eat.
Our team will show you how to properly prepare and eat raw salmon at home. Read on.
5 Steps To Eat Raw Salmon At Home
1. Look For Sashimi/Sushi Grade Salmon
Sadly, not all salmon in the market or at our local pond can be eaten raw. Most salmon that are not raised on a salmon farm contain parasites.
To be sure that your raw salmon is free from worms and parasites, choose salmon labeled either “sushi-grade,” “safe for raw consumption,” or “sashimi-grade salmon.”
These types of sushi are approved under FDA guidelines and can be consumed safely, even in its raw form.
2. Check The Fish For Worms & Parasites
Raising the salmon on a farm does not guarantee that worms and parasites will be absent from the fish. Worms are common to salmon and other fishes .
Visually, it is difficult to remove all worms from the salmon fish, but you can kill them by freezing the fish to an internal temperature of -4°F for at least 7 days.
Similarly, you can remove the parasites in salmon by heat-smoking the fish at least 140°F, dry-salting the fish, or curing the fish in a solution of saturated salt brine.
Remember not to wash the salmon with hot or cold water, as it will only increase the chances of pathogens thriving on the fish.
3. Filet The Salmon If You Will Buy A Whole Fish
Salmon is commonly consumed as part of sushi or a bitesize dish. If you buy a whole fish, you should cut it to a smaller size instead of biting it right away .
Some stores also sell salmon in filet form already, but we suggest to filet it by yourself if you want the full salmon experience.
4. Prepare The Raw Salmon
Depending on your preferences and the food experience you want, the seasoning you will need will vary.
People usually sprinkle basic spices on the salmon, like cajun seasoning, curry spices, cumin, smoked hot paprika, and salt & pepper.
The number of spices will also depend on your preferences. If you are eating raw salmon for the first time, we suggest adding a small number of spices only.
5. Choose The Right Side Dishes
What is raw salmon without the side dishes? Like the seasoning, the side dishes will also vary depending on the food experience that you want to have.
Some of the best side dishes are potatoes, lemon & broccoli, green beans, cilantro rice, pesto pasta, and Asian coleslaw.
Is It Safe To Eat Raw Salmon?
Yes, it is safe to eat raw salmon, as long as the raw salmon is labeled “sushi-grade,” “safe for raw consumption,” or “sashimi-grade salmon.”
While it does not mean there are no worms or parasites, these FDA-approved raw salmon are safe to consume. However, it is best to smoke or freeze them first, just to be safe.
How To Tell If Raw Salmon Has Gone Bad?
A raw salmon gone bad may be hard to determine if you don’t buy them regularly, but you can spot a spoiled salmon if the fillet looks dull with a grayish tint.
Bad salmon also produces a milky substance, often slimy, which you should also watch out for when buying at a local market.
How do you safely eat raw salmon?
Make sure to choose only the “sushi-grade” salmon raised on a farm, smoke and freeze the salmon, and check if the salmon is still good to consume (not grayish or slimy).
Try to consume the raw salmon immediately after defrosting it, and consult a doctor if you feel sick after eating.
How do you know if you have worms from salmon?
In most cases, the worms will just pass through your stomach into your stool, but they can also cause rashes/itching on the rectum or vulva.
The symptoms commonly observed from intestinal worms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas and bloating, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, etc.
Keep an eye on these symptoms after eating raw salmon.
Can you eat frozen salmon raw?
Yes, you can eat frozen salmon raw as long as it is not yet grayish and slimy. However, the risk may vary depending on where you bought the salmon and its grade.
Let’s Sum It Up
Consuming raw salmon should not be the main concern, but every step of its preparation, from raising it on farms to smoking or freezing it for preservation, matters.
If the steps are done cleanly and safely, then eating raw salmon shouldn’t bring you any problems at all.
If you can secure a good “sushi-grade” salmon and pair it with a great side dish and seasoning, eating raw salmon at home will be a very delightful experience.
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