Can You Freeze Sashimi? The Definitive Answer

Sashimi is a popular Japanese dish from fresh, raw fish sliced thinly and served with soy sauce and wasabi. However, there are times when you might have some extra sashimi left over and wonder if you can freeze it for later consumption. 

This question has sparked many debates among sushi enthusiasts, with some saying that freezing sashimi will ruin its texture and flavor. In contrast, others argue that freezing this delicate dish is perfectly safe. In this blog, we will explore the facts behind freezing sashimi and finally settle the age-old debate once and for all. So, can you freeze sashimi? Read on to find out the definitive answer!

Understanding the Concept of Freezing Sashimi

Can You Freeze Sashimi? The Definitive Answer

Freezing fish before consuming it raw may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually a necessary step to ensure its safety. Sashimi-grade products are typically frozen at temperatures of -40℃ or below, a temperature that exceeds the capabilities of household freezers. However, freezing fresh fish for sashimi at home is very easy and highly recommended. 

Sashimi-grade fish can be frozen for up to 6 months, but it’s better to consume it earlier. One common misconception is that frozen sushi is lower quality than fresh sushi, but this is different. Freezing fish to specific temperatures and for particular times kills parasites in raw fish, making it safer to consume. All frozen foods are suitable for consumption as long as they are edible during freezing. 

So, feel free to freeze that sashimi-grade fish for up to three months before preparing it, but don’t freeze prepared sashimi at home as it won’t taste as good.

The Debate Over Freezing SashimiCan You Freeze Sashimi?

The debate over whether or not to freeze sashimi continues to surge amongst seafood enthusiasts. In an effort to prevent parasites that may be present in raw fish, the FDA recommends freezing sashimi at a temperature of at least -31F for 15 hours before consuming. 

However, freezing delicate sashimi can be a controversial topic as some argue that it ruins the texture and taste of the fish. While sashimi-grade fish can be frozen for up to six months, it is recommended to consume it earlier for optimum quality. Additionally, freezing and refreezing sashimi can further compromise the texture and taste of the fish. 

Ultimately, deciding to freeze or not freeze sashimi depends on personal preference. To maintain the highest quality, purchasing fresh sashimi from reputable sources is advisable.

What Happens to Sashimi when It’s Frozen?

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to frozen sashimi. If you try to freeze prepared sashimi, it will become soggy and unappetizing once you thaw it. However, if you have fresh sashimi and freeze it using a flash freezer with the correct technology, you should not notice any changes in texture or quality. 

It is important to note that if you plan on eating your sashimi raw, it should be frozen first. This is because the FDA regulations require fish that will be eaten raw to be frozen to kill any parasites. It is also important to ensure your freezer is set to at least -4F and to use frozen sashimi within a week of freezing. 

While freezing sashimi may not be ideal, it is doable if done correctly.

Common Misconceptions About Freezing Sashimi

There are a few common misconceptions about freezing sashimi that people believe. Many people have the idea that frozen sushi is of lower quality than fresh sushi. However, this is not true at all. In fact, most sushi-grade fish consumed in the US has been frozen to ensure safety and quality. 

Flash-freezing the fish ensures minimal ice crystals are formed, preserving the sashimi quality. Additionally, not all seafood needs to be frozen before being served raw. Japan, for example, has very high food safety standards and absolutely freezes fish used for sushi. It is frozen immediately after being caught in the ocean. 

So, next time you’re considering eating sashimi, don’t be afraid of frozen options – they’re just as high quality and safe to eat as fresh options.

The Pros and Cons of Freezing Sashimi.

Freezing sashimi may seem like a convenient option, but it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are some things to consider:


  1. Frozen sashimi can have an indefinite shelf life if continuously frozen at 0℉ or below
  2. Flash-freezing seafood ensures the quality and overall freshness of the product
  3. Frozen fish are “fresher” than unfrozen fish
  4. Sushi that contains fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good health


  1. The delicate texture of sashimi may be affected by freezing, resulting in a fishy taste and loss of texture
  2. Raw fish can increase the risk of foodborne illness caused by bacteria and parasites, a growing concern with the globalization of the food supply
  3. Sashimi can only be frozen once to maintain its safety and quality. Refreezing can be dangerous
  4. The health benefits of omega-3s found in fish sushi are inconclusive.

In conclusion, freezing sashimi can be a great option for ensuring safety and convenience, but it may affect the texture and flavor of the fish. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision based on personal preference and health considerations. If you decide to freeze sashimi, follow proper freezing and thawing procedures to maintain quality and safety.

How To Properly Freeze Sashimi?

Can You Freeze Sashimi? The Definitive Answer

If you want to enjoy sashimi at a later date, it’s important to know how to properly freeze it. First, pack the sashimi tightly and wrap it in plastic to protect it from exposure to air and bacteria. Then, wrap it tightly in foil and bag it up, ensuring it’s sealed properly. It’s best to use plastic wrap or aluminum foil for wrapping. 

To freeze sashimi, set the temperature of your freezer to the recommended level, and then freeze the fish for a minimum of 7 days before consuming it as sashimi. Freezing your own fresh sashimi to eat at a later date is not recommended. If sashimi has been prepared, it’s best to consume it within the same day as it won’t taste the same once frozen. Remember to properly label your sashimi with the frozen date and use it within three months. 

Following these simple steps, you can adequately freeze sashimi and enjoy it at your convenience.

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Thawing and Consuming Frozen Sashimi

Thawing and consuming frozen sashimi can be a delicate process, but with some knowledge, it can be done safely and quickly. The best and safest method to defrost frozen sashimi is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. If you need it to thaw quicker, put it in a bath of lukewarm water saturated with salt. 

It is important to use caution and always defrost sashimi in the refrigerator or under running water, as it is unsafe to consume if it has been left at room temperature for too long. Before consuming raw sashimi, it is also recommended to freeze it to kill any potential parasites. 

Following these simple steps, anyone can enjoy delicious and safe sashimi at home.

Alternative Ways to Store Sashimi.

  1. Use airtight containers: Packing your sashimi or sushi tightly in plastic wrap and storing it in an airtight container can help retain flavor and freshness.
  2. Freeze it: To extend the shelf life of your sashimi-grade seafood, it’s a good idea to freeze it immediately after purchase. Store it in the freezer for up to one week for raw and five to seven days after defrosting.
  3. Keep it cold: After thawing or if you choose not to freeze it, it’s important to keep your sashimi as cold as possible. By laying your fish fillets or cleaning whole fish on top of the ice, you can decrease the temperature to about 32°F (0°C) and help keep the fish fresh for up to three days.
  4. Check your deliveries: Ensure you inspect your sashimi-grade seafood when it arrives to ensure that it is fresh and high-quality. If it doesn’t meet your standards, please return it for a replacement.
  5. Don’t store it: According to official recommendations, sushi-grade fish should be eaten right after purchase and not stored at all. This is the ideal scenario to ensure you eat the freshest possible sashimi.

Remember, handling sashimi-grade seafood properly is important to prevent foodborne illness. Following these alternative ways to store sashimi and taking extra care during transport and storage, you can enjoy delicious and fresh sashimi at home.


Q: Can you freeze sashimi?

A: You can freeze sashimi for up to three months before preparing it. However, it is not recommended to freeze the dish once it has been prepared.

Q: Why shouldn’t prepared sashimi be frozen?

A: Freezing prepared sashimi can adversely affect the delicate texture and taste of the fish.

Q: How long can sashimi be frozen?

A: Sashimi can be frozen for up to three months before it is prepared.

Q: Is it safe to freeze sashimi at home?

A: Yes, it is possible to freeze sashimi at home. The freezing process is simple and involves freezing it at minus 20℃ (minus 4°F) for more than seven days to kill parasites.

Q: Can any fish be used for sashimi?

A: Only fish categorized as “sashimi grade” or “sushi grade” should be used for sashimi. If such fish is unavailable, it should be frozen for at least seven days to kill any parasites.

Q: Why is it important to freeze fish before consuming it raw?

A: Freezing fish before consuming it raw is important because it kills any parasitic worms that may be present in the raw fish flesh.

Q: Can all fish be sold as sushi grade?

A: Only fish that meets specific requirements can be sold as sushi grade. For example, fish other than tuna must be frozen in the United States before it can be called sushi grade.

Conclusion and Final Verdict on Freezing Sashimi

That concludes our journey to discover whether you can freeze sashimi. Our research has helped you make informed decisions about your favorite Japanese delicacy. Remember to share your thoughts in the comments section below, and let us know what other foodie questions you want us to answer next!


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