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5 Ways to Tell If Your Sushi Is Fresh

When you dine at a sushi restaurant – or any restaurant that serves sushi -you expect the sushi delivered to your table to be delicious and fresh. Many restaurants and vendors follow strict quality assurance measures. However, there may be a time that you come across subpar sushi. Whether you’re buying sushi pre-prepared for an easy lunch on the go or indulging in an all you can eat sushi extravaganza, the same rules apply. Here are a few key things you can check for next time you’re on a sushi binge:

1. Appearance

You want to take a good look at the flesh of the fish in your sushi roll. Is it shiny and translucent? If so you should be in the clear and ready to eat. However, if your fish is dull looking and coated in a milky slime something it is not fresh.

Color is also an indicator of freshness. Even if fish is frozen it should retain bright coloring without any discoloration. The same goes for rice. A nice, white color is always a good sign – unless it’s a roll made with brown rice. Fresh sushi rice is also firm as opposed to soggy.

Additionally, if you’re enjoying your sushi with nori (seaweed), it should be crisp. Sushi that sits for too long will result in moisture from the rice that makes the seaweed mushy.

2. Smell

When it comes to fish, your nose is a great detector of freshness. Fresh fish should not have an odor. The same goes for a restaurant. If your local sushi bar reeks of fish, you do not want to eat anything made in that establishment. A clean and odorless shop is a sign a staff cares about the quality of the sushi they create on a daily basis in addition to the safety of patrons. Acclaimed sushi chef Hidekazu Tojo once said, “a good sushi restaurant should smell like cucumber or watermelon.”

Unfortunately, some establishments may try and mask odors by chilling fish to the lowest temperatures possible in order. If you receive abnormally cold sushi at your table, try waiting a minute or so for the sushi to get to room temperature. If a noticeable odor develops, it’s time to send that sushi back to the kitchen.

3. Feel

Sometimes appearances and smells can be masked so touching your sushi is another method to evaluate how fresh it is. The flesh of the fish should feel firm. Specifically, when you press down on it using your finger, there should not be any trace of an indentation. If a mark remains, your fish is not fresh and should not be consumed.

4. The Right Balance of Ingredients

Traditionally, sushi combines rice, seaweed, fish, and vegetables. Both fish and vegetable sushi should feature a good balance of rice and fillings. If the proportions are off, the taste may be impacted. A proper balance ensures no one ingredient overwhelms another. This becomes especially problematic if more rice or seaweed is used than fish in order to hide the use of fish that is not fresh. Each part of the sushi should be fresh and if one ingredient is not it will impact the entire flavor profile.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sushi connoisseur, you should never hesitate to ask a server about the food preparation process at their restaurant. It is more than appropriate to ask where the fish is sourced. Most chefs at the top of their craft will share this information freely with their wait staff to pass on to guests.

Make RB Sushi Your Go-To Destination for Always Fresh All You Can Eat Sushi

RB Sushi puts a high level of care and dedication into every dish of sushi they serve. We take the steps to make sure our customers enjoy only the freshest sushi in our restaurants or delivered right to your door. We’re always happy to answer any questions to help you find new favorites. View our menu and get your sushi on today!