Bali has some of the world’s best Japanese restaurants, serving only the freshest salmon for sashimi and sushi. It’s no surprise as Bali is a prime seaside tropical destination. If you find yourself craving salmon sashimi and want to make one at home, you only need to ask Bali restaurant managers to learn about the challenges of handling and preparing fresh fish.
Just imagine, the salmon is sourced from a farm in various cold-water regions (New Zealand, Japan, Alaska, etc.). Fresh salmon only has less than an hour before it is frozen to maintain its freshness. It is then shipped to Bali in a chilled container kept at -5 degrees Celsius, before being delivered to a Bali restaurant and hotel supplier such as Puri Pangan Utama.
The logistical challenges don’t end there. The fresh frozen fish has only one chance to be thawed before processing. If the salmon is thawed and then refrozen, the fish can no longer be consumed raw as bacteria may have sufficient time to contaminate the fish during thawing.
Once thawed, the fish must be processed and served. This begs the question: How on earth are sushi chefs able to cure (to flavor) raw salmon and serve sashimi or sushi just in time before the fish is no longer fresh?
The steps to cure raw salmon in Bali
The secret is slow but precise thawing. Do not open the packaging; place the fish in its packaging under cold, one-degree Celsius water, and maintain that temperature by running a slow and steady stream of water. The temperature may fluctuate between 1 to 4 degrees Celsius, but it is important not to exceed 5 degrees Celsius (most cold-loving bacteria become active above 5 degrees Celsius).
If you do this in your sink, make sure that the sink is not near a window, as sunlight will very quickly heat up the ambient temperature.
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The curing process
After 24 hours of thawing, unpack the salmon and marinate it with salt and sugar mix with a 3:1 salt to sugar ratio. Then add lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice; spread equally throughout. Cover the salmon and wait 90 minutes before washing with freshwater.
The cured fish is now ready to cut up and serve in the freshest condition possible.
Puri Pangan Utama has been a trusted Bali restaurant food supplier since 1985. Source your raw salmon only from the best distributors. Order your salmon now.