Seafood Served

Raw oysters and clams have long been enjoyed in North American restaurants as well as in homes. Smoked salmon, too, has always been a popular raw seafood item, although many people don't think of it as raw fish because it has been processed.

More recently, with the popularity of Japanese sushi and sashimi,many more people enjoy eating items made with raw fish, and chefs are experimenting with new ways to serve raw seafood items. Because of the danger of contamination from polluted fishing waters, however, many health officials advise against serving raw seafood. Nevertheless, these items remain popular. If you choose to serve raw seafood, observe the following guidelines:

1. Use only the freshest fish.

2. Buy the fish from a reliable purveyor.

3. Use only saltwater seafood from clean waters. Do not use freshwater fish,which is more likely than saltwater fish to contain parasites.To destroy possible parasites in saltwater fish, freeze it, and then thaw it before use.

4. Observe the strictest sanitation procedures.

5. Keep the fish cold. Handle it as little as possible.

Four kinds of raw fish recipes are included in this chapter. Fish tartare is a mixture of chopped raw fish mixed with various condiments and seasonings. Fish carpac-cio is a dish consisting of very thin slices of firm, meaty fish such as tuna, served with various garnishes and usually with a piquant sauce such as a vinaigrette. Carpaccio (karpachio) is the Italian word for a dish of thin slices of raw beef, served the same way. Seviche or ceviche (seh vee chay, or, in Spanish, seh bee chay) is a preparation, native to Latin America, of raw seafood marinated in an acid mixture.The acid coagulates the protein so the texture of the raw fish resembles that of cooked fish. It is common to say that the acid "cooks" the fish. However, because the food is not subjected to heat, it is important to still think of the item as raw, for sanitation reasons. Sushi is seasoned Japanese short-grain rice that is usually, but not always, garnished with raw fish.

Sushi has become especially popular in Western countries, but there is much confusion about it. Sushi is often equated with raw fish, but in fact the term refers to cooked rice lightly flavored with seasoned vinegar.The rice is served with various garnishes, which include not only raw fish (the most popular garnish) but also cooked seafood and many kinds of vegetables and pickles.

Continue reading here: Tartare of Sea Bass and Salmon

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