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How to Prepare Fish for Sushi

While sushi masters train for years to perfect their fish-cutting techniques, you don't have to be quite so exacting. But the more carefully you slice it, the tastier your results.


  • Step 1: Cut into uniform slabs Cut your filets into even, uniform slabs by examining the fish pieces and, in one even motion, trimming away any uneven sides.
  • TIP: To keep your cuts even and your fish neat, wipe your fingers and knife blade on a damp kitchen towel between each cut.
  • Step 2: Slice off top In one motion, slice off the top 1/8-inch of your filet to remove uneven flesh, skin, or scales.
  • Step 3: Slice off bottom If necessary, do the same to the bottom of the filet.
  • Step 4: Trim dark pieces Trim off any dark-colored pieces of fish.
  • Step 5: Repeat steps Repeat these steps to trim and square off your other filets, until all your fish is ready to be cut into sushi-sized portions.
  • Step 6: Notice grain & angle Notice the 'grain' of your fish. Lay one of the trimmed filets on your cutting board so its grain sits at a 45-degree angle to the bottom edge of the board.
  • Step 7: Slice off slabs Position your blade at a 45-degree angle to the filet, and cut on the bias across the grain, slicing off slabs about 1/4-inch thick. Just before you've cut all the way through the filet, straighten your knife and slice down to detach the slab from the filet.
  • Step 8: Proceed w/ recipe Once you've sliced all your fillets into slabs, you're ready to proceed with the sushi recipe of your choice.
  • FACT: The FDA does not regulate the term 'sushi grade'— but it dose suggest guidelines for the storage and preparation of raw fish.

You Will Need

  • 1 to 2 lb. of fresh saltwater fish filets
  • such as yellowtail.
  • An extremely sharp knife
  • A cutting board
  • And a clean
  • slightly damp kitchen towel

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