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Published on 06.29.2016
Watch as a sushi chef cuts and prepares sashimi in this video. Although often mistaken with sushi, Sashimi, or raw fish, is undeniably the most recognizable part of Japanese cuisine, and it's not hard to understand why! The texture and flavor of extremely fresh fish are both unique and exquisite, making it difficult to find anywhere else in the world.
For any chef who prepares raw fish, the most important tool in his kit is his knife, or "sashimi bocho." These knives differ from regular knives in a number of ways. They tend to be longer, and much thinner than your typical kitchen knife. The ultra thinness of the sashimi bocho allows the preparer to cut the fish with little force, which prevents it from tearing or breaking. The way the chef cuts with the knife, is also unique as well. He does not saw or cut the fish with a pushing motion. Instead he places the knife on the fish, and pulls it toward his body, creating a clean cut as the knife glides down the mass of the fish in one smooth motion. This is a testament to not only the quality of the blade, but also to the skill of the chef.
Once the he is finished cutting the sashimi, the chef then begins to arrange it on a platter in a way that is pleasing to the eye. The artistic manner in which sashimi is displayed takes almost as much thought as the rest of the preparation process. Often times the sashimi is placed in an intricate design. The brighter colored fish, such as salmon or tuna, are typically placed strategically in the center to create a focal point, which catches the customer's eye. The plate is also decorated with other garnishes such as white raddish shavings, various greenery, and sometimes even a small chrysanthemum, all of which can be eaten!
A trip to Japan isn't complete without trying some authentic Japanese sushi or sashimi. Please be sure to enjoy both the unique flavor and artistry of Japanese cuisine.