Home Food Why Is Sashimi More Expensive Than Nigiri?

Why Is Sashimi More Expensive Than Nigiri?

by Louise W. Rice

When visiting a Japanese restaurant, there’s no denying that there’s a struggle with picking a dish that would fill you up for the day since their cuisine is composed of various Asian dishes like miso soup.

However, the nigiri vs sashimi debate makes enthusiasts wonder why there’s a wide gap in their prices. Yet, unpopular to most, several factors play a huge role in the matter. But first, we must differentiate the two from each other.

Sushi isn’t identical to sashimi.

For those unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine, it’s a common mistake to use both terms interchangeably, making it more likely for you to be confused.

In simple words, sushi refers to any dish served with vinegared rice, traditionally having raw fish as one of its primary ingredients. However, it’s essential to remember that many sushi dishes are served with cooked seafood. In contrast, others may opt to skip over placing a seafood ingredient.

To make an emphasis, you could take vegan sushi as an example. This type of food includes fruits, typically with avocado to replace the seafood. In contrast, the sashimi dish is considered a standalone food and doesn’t require guests to serve with side dishes.

Another critical distinction is that even though sushi obligates you to add rice that has been dressed with vinegar, sashimi doesn’t need rice as it’s made of thin slices of raw fish, such as salmon, tuna, or another kind of seafood.

Why is sashimi expensive?

Usually, sushi would only cost you between $9 to $33 for a conveyor belt, yet a bluefin tuna sashimi would take over $40 from your pocket just for a single pound order.

This is due to the efforts, time, and ingredients used to serve sashimi. For instance, anglers would have to catch the fish that’ll be the main ingredient for the dish using a line.

Once they’re caught, the process would move on to the Ike-jime step; wherein fishers would drive the spike into the fish’s brain to paralyze it. Most anglers would often do this by threading a long wire pass through the hole before letting the fish’s body bleed out and preserving it in ice to maintain its flavor and freshness.

From here, the fishermen would then take them to the fish markets to be sold. After that, a skilled chef would take over to produce thin fish slices.

Aside from these rigorous preparations, it’s worth noting that prices for the fish would spike as soon as winter makes its presence known since it becomes even more challenging to catch tuna while in colder climates than it is in summer.

Doing it on your own

If you have a genuine interest in grasping the technique of serving sashimi, you must first purchase a gyutoh, a kind of Japanese knife to support you throughout the process. You’ll need to use a particular knife because it’s more capable of slicing raw meat, especially seafood, into thin slices owing to its highly favorable sharpness.

It’s best to start by purchasing a saltwater fish to prepare your sashimi dish, given that there’s a tendency of parasites living in the freshwater fish that could eventually lead to dangerous situations such as food poisoning.

Keep in mind, though, that even if sushi and sashimi have similar preparations, it can’t be considered sashimi unless you’d pair it up with vinegared rice without any of the side dishes like rice.

Not only that, but if you’re health-conscious, a sashimi dish solely offers 20-60 calories at a time and nutritional values from the fish meat not limited to vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and many more.

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