I see this thread about eating frozen fish http://paleohacks.com/questions/59090/is-it-safe-to-eat-frozen-fish-raw#axzz1lBGuQGMv, but I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with eating raw fish that was just caught and hasn't been frozen yet.
Specifically, this Vermillion snapper which was "just caught this morning" according to the meat manager at Native Sun where I got it. The only reason I'm asking is because my gf and I love sushi and sashimi but would prefer to get our fish fresh from the market instead of the farmed, who-knows-where-it-came-from-and-what's-in-it fish that is typically served in sushi restaurants.
I understand the basic situation involving parasites, and that apparently most "sushi-grade" fish is usually bled on the boat and put on ice before freezing it for a few weeks in order to get that (unofficial) designation.
I'm thinking of at least trying a bite or two before I bake him to see if he even tastes as good raw as he does cooked. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this?
My BF and his family is fishermen, I grew up on the docks, and we don't eat fresh catch raw. He used to participate in studies with a local university for some extra money, and they would send us all the results of parasite testing (what they were usually studying), and even the freshest of fresh fish almost always had some kind of parasite. Usually totally innocuous to us, but you never know. I don't think there was probably ever a piece of fish analyzed that didn't have parasites. The parasite would still be present and alive in the flesh after "cool storage" (think big fridge), but were completely killed with flash-freezing (super fast freezing). Now he flash freezes all his fish and can sell it all at "sashimi grade", parasites killed. It is delicious raw (we usually do different salmon such as pink and sockeye).
When we catch sport fish and want to eat it raw, we still flash freeze it first. Alternatively, we soak it in vodka (Russian style!) as a sort of booze-y lox, or smoke it.
That being said, he used to have an oyster farm, and we would eat those raw or lightly smoked all the time. Also we cook prawns for only about 30 seconds tail on, so those are usually pretty raw when we eat them. He never had his shellfish tested for parasites before, so I'm not sure about shellfish parasite levels or anything. We had to test everything for red tide already, so we didn't have that worry.
All-in-all: it's your choice if the risk is worth it, but if you are a big fan of sashimi and want to eat raw fish that you know where it's from, seek out sashimi grade if it's worth the peace of mind to you.
Gollum is so paleo: ""Yes, yes we could. Spoiling nice fish, scorching it. Give me fish now, and keep nassty chips! '" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYiCPmwOV4A
I would be careful with any rockfish like snapper eaten fresh raw. The reason that sushi grade fish is ok for consumption is that it is blast frozen at sea to -40 which kills parasites. Sushi grade is not an unofficial designation - there are very serious laws guarding the landing of fish at fish plants and it is a condition of the fisherman's liscence to keep the freezers in good working order. (and if they don't not only can they not sell the fish they caught, they also are fined)
Bottom(ish) dwellers like rockfish have parasites and worms in the flesh (if you don't believe me go catch one and filet it yourself). And when I buy fresh snapper on the docks or when I catch it I definitely cook it up - in my opinion snapper is so much better cooked than raw (unlike tuna and salmon which are delish raw).
I know from the store owner that salmon that is sold as sashimi is handled very differently to any regular fish. That's why it is so much more expensive. He told me that it is not regular raw salmon. According to regulations, they are not even suppose to keep them together. Sashimi salmon is kept where it cannot be contaminated by anything else.
If I were you, I would not eat raw fish. You don't know what kind of disease/parasites it can carry. Better safe than sorry.
It's my understanding that it would be safe to try a bite of any fish that lives its whole life in salt water. Any fish like salmon that travels from fresh water to salt and back may get parasites and must be frozen before eating raw. (According to my sushi class teacher).
One point RE parasites and other hazards: Your body is not stupid. It has an immune system. We are constantly bombarded with toxins every day and we do just fine. I'm no expert so don't take my word for this, but my suspicion is that the dangers of eating raw fish are overblown in light of this.
I read somewhere that humans have been consuming raw fish since antiquity. Unlike other animals, it does not contain much connective tissue so it is easier for us to digest.
I bought some fresh hake two days ago and had some leftover yesterday - not enough to justify the effort of cooking so I just ate it raw with lots of veggies. I felt AWESOME afterwards. Tons of energy and mental power. Must be the nutrients and enzymes that get destroyed in cooking. I am wary of the hazards, though, and I think I will try to incorporate a mix of cooked and raw fish rather than consume the latter exclusively.
The paleo-ish blogger Denise Minger has raw fish as her staple protein source: http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/01/20/my-current-diet/
fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, snapper, yellowtail, oysters, mussels, clams; the fish typically raw), usually daily
I just went deep sea fishing in Mexico. We caught a small tuna and they filleted it on the dock when we got back. My son and I love sushimi and they guy gave us a piece. It was fishier than normal sushi so I was semi skeptical. I prefer shashimi cold and dock temperature was weird but I got through it. We didnt get sick. It was great grilled. My wife made me swear to never do it again.