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Raw Fish Dishes

This article is about raw fish or shellfish. It includes marinated raw fish (soaked in a seasoned liquid) and raw fish which is lightly cured such as gravlax, but not fish which is fully cured (fermented, pickled, smoked or otherwise preserved).

Raw fish health concerns

Differential symptoms of parasite infections by raw fish. All have gastrointestinal, but otherwise distinct, symptoms.

Parasites in fish are a natural occurrence and common. Though not a health concern in thoroughly cooked fish, parasites are a concern when consumers eat raw or lightly preserved fish such as sashimi, sushi, ceviche, and gravlax. The popularity of such raw fish dishes makes it important for consumers to be aware of this risk. Raw fish should be frozen to an internal temperature of -20°C for at least 7 days to kill parasites. It is important to be aware that home freezers may not be cold enough to kill parasites.

Traditionally, fish that live all or part of their lives in fresh water were considered unsuitable for sashimi due to the possibility of parasites. Parasitic infections from freshwater fish are a serious problem in some parts of the world, particularly Southeast Asia. Fish that spend part of their life cycle in brackish or freshwater, like salmon are a particular problem. A study in Seattle, Washington showed that 100% of wild salmon had roundworm larvae capable of infecting people. In the same study farm raised salmon did not have any roundworm larvae.

Parasite infection by raw fish is rare in the developed world, and involves mainly three kinds of parasites: Clonorchis sinensis (a trematode/fluke), Anisakis (a nematode/roundworm) and Diphyllobothrium (a cestode/tapeworm). Infection risk of anisakis is particularly higher in fishes which may live in a river such as salmon (sake) in Salmonidae or mackerel (saba). Such parasite infections can generally be avoided by boiling, burning, preserving in salt or vinegar, or freezing overnight. In Japan it is common to eat raw salmon and ikura, but these foods are frozen overnight prior to eating to prevent infections from parasites, particularly anisakis.


Tuna CarpaccioVery thin slices of marinated swordfish, kingfish, tuna, or other large fish – (a variant of the more common beef carpaccio).

View Tuna Carpaccio Recipe
See Glossary : Carpaccio
Like carpaccio, ceviche is a raw fish recipe that modern cooks just love to play with. It is essentially fish “cooked” in the acid of citrus juice and served with a cold beer on a hot day. The dish originates in Peru, and is thought to be a development from Spanish escabeche, which is a vinegar-marinated dish.
Pesce Crudo is the Italian version of sashimi: Raw fish (Pesce crudo) at the peak of freshness, dressed simply with olive oil and lemon. It is a way to highlight your finest quality fish. If you do not have top-quality ingredients to make this, don’t make it. We use tuna here, but you can use any fish you might see at a sushi bar.
E’ia Ota
Ota ika is a Polynesian dish, similar to Latin ceviche, consisting of raw fish marinated in citrus juice and coconut milk. The Tongan, Tahitian, and Samoan variants are essentially identical in that the raw fish is briefly marinated in lemon or lime juice until the surface of the flesh becomes opaque.
Salad based on raw cod, tomato and black olives.
Raw salmon, lightly cured in salt, sugar, and dill. Usually served as an appetiser, sliced thinly and accompanied by a dill and mustard sauce with bread or boiled potatoes. Made by fishermen in the Middle Ages, who salted salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand above the high-tide line. Today it is no longer fermented. Instead the salmon is “buried” in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill, and cured for a few days. As the salmon cures, by the action of osmosis, the moisture turns the dry cure into a highly concentrated brine, which can be used as part of a sauce.
Raw seasoned seafood slices served with salad
Traditionally served as part of a variety platter at Christmas
Marinated raw fish similar to ceviche
Koi pla
Minced or finely chopped raw fish in spicy salad. The most popular raw fish dish in Isan.
Appetiser or side dish of any white fish. A common staple.
Finely cut strips of raw fish or meat, which was popular and commonly eaten in the early history and dynastic times of China. According to the Book of Rites compiled between 202 BCE–220 CE, kuai consists of small thin slices or strips of raw meat, which are prepared by first thinly slicing the meat and then cutting the thin slices into strips. In modern times, the dishes are more often referred to as “raw fish slices”. Commonly used fish in ancient times include carp and mandarin fish, but salmon is also used in modern times. Sauces were an essential part of kuai dishes, with spring onions used for preparation of sauces in spring and mustard seed used for sauces in autumn. According to many classical texts, kuai served without sauces was deemed inedible and should be avoided.
Lap pa
Lap pla
A Lao and Thai salad of raw freshwater river fish mixed with lime, coriander, mint, spring onions, roasted rice, and chillis
‘Ota ‘ika
Ota ika is a Polynesian dish, similar to Latin ceviche, consisting of raw fish marinated in citrus juice and coconut milk. The Tongan, Tahitian, and Samoan variants are essentially identical in that the raw fish is briefly marinated in lemon or lime juice until the surface of the flesh becomes opaque.
Raw fish salad
Dish made from raw seafood
Soused herring
New season herring soaked in a mild preserving liquid
Minced meat or fish dish
Variant of ceviche influenced by sashimi
Raw cod, anchovies and tuna fish with escarole, arbequinas olives, and “romesco” sauce.
Raw fish salad

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