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The Truth About Sushi: Is It Really Raw Fish?

Sushi Mori

When you think of sushi, you might immediately picture a beautifully presented dish featuring glistening slices of raw fish atop perfectly seasoned rice. For many, this image is synonymous with sushi. But is sushi really just raw fish? And more importantly, is it safe to eat? In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the world of sushi, exploring its history, the different types, and the safety concerns surrounding the consumption of raw fish. Along the way, we'll highlight Sushi Mori Coquitlam, a renowned sushi restaurant known for its commitment to quality and safety.

The Origins of Sushi

To understand sushi, it’s essential to explore its origins. Sushi as we know it today has evolved significantly from its ancient roots. The concept of preserving fish through fermentation can be traced back to Southeast Asia, where fish was stored in fermented rice to prevent spoilage. This method, known as narezushi, dates back over a thousand years. The rice was discarded, and only the fermented fish was consumed.

Over time, the Japanese adapted this practice. By the Edo period (1603-1868), a new style of sushi emerged in Japan. This style, called edomae sushi, involved placing fresh fish atop vinegared rice, creating the foundation of modern sushi. Unlike narezushi, the rice in edomae sushi was consumed along with the fish, and the fermentation process was shortened significantly or eliminated altogether.

Different Types of Sushi

Sushi is a versatile cuisine that encompasses a variety of styles and ingredients, many of which do not involve raw fish. Here are some of the most popular types of sushi:


Nigiri is perhaps the most iconic form of sushi. It consists of a small mound of vinegared rice topped with a slice of fish or seafood. While raw fish like tuna, salmon, and yellowtail are common toppings, nigiri can also feature cooked or seared items such as shrimp, eel, or tamago (sweet egg omelet).


Though often associated with sushi, sashimi is technically not sushi as it does not include rice. Sashimi consists of thinly sliced raw fish or seafood, typically served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Sashimi showcases the pure flavours and textures of the fish.


Maki sushi, or makizushi, involves rolling ingredients such as fish, vegetables, and rice in seaweed (nori) using a bamboo mat. The roll is then sliced into bite-sized pieces. Maki rolls can be filled with raw fish, but they often contain cooked items or vegetarian ingredients.


Temaki, or hand rolls, are cones of seaweed filled with rice, fish, and other ingredients. They are often eaten with the hands and can include both raw and cooked elements.


Chirashi sushi features a bowl of vinegared rice topped with an assortment of fish, seafood, and vegetables. It’s a deconstructed form of sushi that offers a variety of flavors and textures in one dish.


Inari sushi consists of vinegared rice stuffed into pockets of seasoned tofu. It’s a vegetarian-friendly option that is both sweet and savoury.

Is Sushi Really Raw Fish?

While raw fish is a prominent ingredient in many sushi dishes, sushi itself is not synonymous with raw fish. Sushi refers to the vinegared rice that serves as the foundation of the dish. The toppings and fillings can vary widely, and many sushi options do not include raw fish at all.

At Sushi Mori Coquitlam, you’ll find an extensive menu that caters to all preferences. From classic nigiri and sashimi to creative rolls and vegetarian options, Sushi Mori offers a diverse range of dishes that highlight the artistry and versatility of sushi.

The Safety of Eating Raw Fish

One of the most common concerns about sushi is the safety of consuming raw fish. It’s natural to worry about foodborne illnesses, especially when it comes to raw seafood. However, reputable sushi restaurants like Sushi Mori Coquitlam take stringent measures to ensure the safety and quality of their ingredients.

Sourcing High-Quality Fish

The foundation of safe and delicious sushi is high-quality fish. Sushi Mori Coquitlam sources its fish from trusted suppliers who adhere to strict standards of freshness and sustainability. The fish is carefully inspected and handled to maintain its quality from the moment it is caught to when it is served.

Proper Handling and Storage

Raw fish must be handled and stored correctly to prevent contamination. At Sushi Mori Coquitlam, the fish is stored at optimal temperatures and prepared in a clean, sanitized environment. The chefs are trained in proper handling techniques to minimize the risk of foodborne pathogens.

Freezing to Kill Parasites

To ensure safety, most sushi-grade fish is frozen before being served raw. Freezing at very low temperatures kills parasites that might be present in the fish. This practice is mandated by food safety regulations in many countries and is followed diligently by reputable sushi establishments.

Hygienic Preparation Practices

Cleanliness and hygiene are paramount in sushi preparation. Sushi Mori Coquitlam maintains a rigorous cleaning schedule and enforces strict hygiene practices among its staff. This includes regular handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, and using separate utensils for raw and cooked items.

Enjoying Sushi at Sushi Mori Coquitlam

Sushi Mori Coquitlam is a prime example of a restaurant that prioritizes both the culinary experience and the safety of its patrons. Here’s what you can expect when you dine at Sushi Mori:

A Diverse Menu

Sushi Mori offers a wide range of sushi options to suit all tastes. Whether you’re a fan of raw fish or prefer cooked items, there’s something for everyone. The menu includes traditional nigiri and sashimi, inventive maki rolls, and vegetarian-friendly choices.

Fresh, High-Quality Ingredients

The commitment to quality is evident in every dish at Sushi Mori. The fish is sourced from reputable suppliers, and the ingredients are always fresh. The chefs at Sushi Mori take pride in their craft, ensuring that each piece of sushi is a work of art.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

Sushi Mori Coquitlam provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for diners. Whether you’re enjoying a meal with family, friends, or colleagues, the restaurant’s ambiance enhances the overall dining experience. The cherry blossom decor adds a touch of elegance and tranquility.

Exceptional Service

The staff at Sushi Mori Coquitlam are dedicated to providing excellent service. From the moment you walk in, you’ll be greeted with a smile and treated with care. The team is knowledgeable about the menu and can offer recommendations based on your preferences.

Commitment to Safety

Your safety is a top priority at Sushi Mori Coquitlam. The restaurant adheres to strict health and safety protocols to ensure that you can enjoy your meal with peace of mind. From sourcing to preparation, every step is taken to maintain the highest standards of food safety.

Sushi is a beloved cuisine that offers a diverse array of flavors and textures. While raw fish is a key component in many sushi dishes, it is not the defining feature of sushi. At Sushi Mori Coquitlam, you can enjoy a wide variety of sushi options, all prepared with the utmost care and attention to safety.

Whether you’re a seasoned sushi enthusiast or new to Japanese cuisine, Sushi Mori Coquitlam promises a dining experience that is both delightful and safe. The restaurant’s commitment to quality, freshness, and customer satisfaction sets it apart as a premier destination for sushi lovers.

So, the next time you crave sushi, visit Sushi Mori Coquitlam and savor the artistry and flavour of expertly crafted sushi. Experience the truth about sushi – it’s more than just raw fish, it’s a culinary journey that celebrates tradition, creativity, and excellence.

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