Whys sushi bad

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dymnyno
dymnyno May 14, 2012

Actually, sushi is good! Whole Foods makes very good, fresh sushi on the spot as you watch so you can see all the ingredients.

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HalfPint
HalfPint May 15, 2012

I love the fact that you can get sushi made with brown rice at WF.

pierino
pierino May 14, 2012

Whole Foods usually identifies the source of the fish. However there was recently an outbreak of salmonella affecting 19 states, leading to more than 100 reported cases. The source was traced to a distribution company in California which was brokering tuna from the Indian Ocean. Lots of seafood comes to us frozen from Asia. Tons and tons of shrimp.
I'm also concerned about the level of training of the people prepping the sushi. In Japan sushi chefs undergo years of rigorous training. Here, at best, the cook may know how to slice the fish and not much else. Would they recognize a nematode in a piece of raw ahi?

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ATG117
ATG117 May 14, 2012

pierino, how does one know id fish has been frozen and shipped from Asia? Is this true of good quality fish I'd buy at a trusted store or eat at a high quality restaurant?

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pierino
pierino May 15, 2012

Whoever is selling you the fish even if it's just the guy working the fish counter at the supermarket should be able to answer the question as the paperwork the USDA requires is pretty extensive. But of course every load of fish can't be tested for bacteria or contaminants. That said, I've received some dodgey answers in restaurants to a question I always ask when I see "diver scallops" on the menu. "Are these really diver scallops? You wouldn't be able to sell them at this price if they were." Busted! One server came back to me from the kitchen and said, "Well, they're fresh frozen."

Reiney
Reiney May 14, 2012

The only way to know is to ask the grocer / fishmonger / restaurant and to be able to trust their answer.

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Sam1148
Sam1148 May 15, 2012

I've always found the sushi at WF's pretty good. Especially the lunch counter sushi they make on demand. The Japaneese guy that works the lunch counter is meticulous in preparation and sanitation; one of the few places I've seen with 100 score from the health dept---which as anyone knows is almost impossible to achieve because they always find or 2 point for even the best places. (now, if they only would serve sake and beer I'd eat there over most resturants).

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Sam1148
Sam1148 May 15, 2012

Another thing, to brag on our local WFs, is that until recently they used to have real wasabi root sourced from (I think) either a NC or WA source, they recented switched to powered wasabi that contains a "bit" of real wasabi root mixed with normal powdered stuff---the same stuff in their 'to go boxes". Better than most, but not as good as the real thing ground on site.

The only draw back as with most supermarket sushi they normally don't put a dab of wasabi between the fish and rice. Which I guess is a policy to prevent 'surprises' to less sushi centric customers. The older Japaneese guy knows me tho and now does that for me so I don't have to ask.

FYI: Here's the source for the NC wassabi....they also sell 100 powdered made from the rhizomes.
http://www.realwasabi.com/Corporate/index.asp
the storefront is in SC while their source is NC.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 15, 2012

My understanding of the salmonella outbreak was that it involved "tuna scrape" which is bits of tuna gleaned from the carcasses of the fish after the steaks and larger pieces are cut off. This is often used here for spicy tuna rolls. This sounds an awful lot like the same issue that arises with ground beef and bagged lettuce - one bad section can end up contaminating many batches. So, beware the "pre-ground" fish. Marion Nestle had a great piece about this on her blog, food politics, on May 6.

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pierino
pierino May 15, 2012

Yes, indeed. Bagged "triple washed" lettuce should be avoided. Don't tell Rachael Ray I said that.

Sam1148
Sam1148 May 15, 2012

Yet another reason I like my WF for sushi. I've seen the old Japanese guy using a knife and spoon to scape down bits of fish after breaking it down for larger pieces. He also uses gloves (and actually changes them when moving from dish to dish), and some kind of 'device', which I assume is some type of Bactria meter..as he took a portion of the 'scraped stuff' and made a very clean carcass..mixed a portion of it with water and swabbed it and put it the swab into the device to take a reading, and discarded his sample and testing container.
I'm not sure about the device/reading he took, I'll ask him next time..but seeing him work gives me confidence about his sushi. I don't know if this standard practice at WFs...but they certainly have my vote here in land of 'questionable Sushi"..at least that store. Some other WFs are pretty mediocre for sushi on my travels (and I'm looking at you North Georgia).

bugbitten
bugbitten May 16, 2012

Hating to be the-guy-without-a-funny-thing to-say-guy, I came home from a 1982 trip to Japan with an amoebic liver. One oh three fevers, imagined shadows of circling raptors on the sweaty freezing bedclothes, and varied diagnoses from New York doctors ranging from mono to aids. I still fault not sashimi, but a type of yakatori I ate that was not grilled, but macerated in a brine. I had a devil of a time. I'll just say, "Once bitten, twice shy." Shop wise and don't buy what you don't know, good people.

I think that's why I'm still here.

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ChefOno
ChefOno May 17, 2012

Bummer. And people wonder why I'm so adamant about food safety issues. Hey, it's not *that* big of a deal -- not until you find yourself in the hospital fighting for your life. Glad you're here to tell the tale…

BoulderGalinTokyo
BoulderGalinTokyo May 16, 2012

Sam1148-- For when you can't find the real thing, We like S&B Wasabi in a Tube available at Amazon, I would guess WF and Asian stores. Stays fresher than you would think....

bugbitten, I'm so sorry for your awful experience. I have no idea what you might have eaten...

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 16, 2012

If anyone is interested, Marion Nestle today posted a follow up to her earlier blog post about tuna "scrape." Apparently, the package itself reads that the product should be cooked. Sadly, some places here used it for raw spicy tuna rolls which were laced with salmonella. http://www.foodpolitics.com/2012/05/follow-up-on-sushi-tuna-scrape-its-supposed-to-be-cooked/

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ChefOno
ChefOno May 18, 2012

Thanks for the follow-up. The story makes more sense now.

Pegeen
Pegeen May 17, 2012

I'm still trying to figure out what the question was... never mind keeping up with all the in-depth answers!

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bugbitten
bugbitten May 18, 2012

The questioner is long gone, Pegreen. We are talking to the familiar each other, I think. By the way, I am just fine, just suspicious, that's all. I still like to prepare Asian dishes, as much as any other.

bugbitten
bugbitten May 18, 2012

Now I've messed that all up. It's Pegeen, not pea-green. Mea culpa.

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 18, 2012

No problem, Bugster. In fact I like Peagreen!
Two people have asked me so here goes: Pegeen is the Anglicized spelling of Pegín, meaning "Little Peg" in Gaelic (Peg being my grandmother). You just add the “een” to the main name: Padraicín (Little Patrick), Seanín (Little Sean), etc. So if you had an older "bugbitten" relative, you'd be Bugeen! :-) Cheers.

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bugbitten
bugbitten May 19, 2012

Dear heart Pegreen, you've now put more people to sleep with your explaining than the great James Joyce did with his Ulysses. If the Joyce were living he would sure be at work on his ultimate achievement: "The Bugster."

Now we have to turn this channel back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Carefully signed, Edward James Patrick May (Ted)

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bugbitten
bugbitten May 19, 2012

I might just go with your Bugster idea.

Pegeen
Pegeen May 19, 2012

Bugbitten, Yes, you might want to try an approach different than your current. When you need to insult strangers, you have not got your proportions right. So you couldn't be cooking too well, either.

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dymnyno
dymnyno May 19, 2012

Am the only one who thought that you guys were having a fun and witty banter???Don't go bad on us!

Pegeen
Pegeen May 19, 2012

I'm just crabby because I finished reading "Ulysses" today and there wasn't a single vampire in it. What a rip-off! Cheers, everyone.

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bugbitten
bugbitten May 26, 2012

Sorry, for some reason I haven't gotten the usual email alerts on this string. I never would have let so many days go by. dymnyno (Lord may I get that right!) is on the nose and I think peg and I were just funning' towards the end of this moot question. I hope so and that is my really real name up there. Only good thoughts for everyone at 52.

SKK
SKK May 26, 2012

Another answer to sushi question
http://www.theatlantic...

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