Sushi-grade salmon doesn’t last too long, so storing it correctly is the best way to ensure you get the most out of it. Sushi-grade salmon is delicious, but it should be enjoyed quickly for the best results.
Sushi grade salmon lasts up to 2 days if it has been refrigerated and up to 4 months if it has been frozen. You will often find that transporting the fish from the store to your home might thaw out the fish, especially if it was pre-frozen. In this instance, it is preferable to eat it immediately.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss exactly how long sushi-grade salmon lasts in the refrigerator and the freezer, whether you can thaw and refreeze the salmon, and a few tips for storing sushi-grade salmon.
How Long Sushi Grade Salmon Lasts
If you’ve ever bought salmon to make sushi, you’ll notice that it might have a sticker or label declaring it safe to eat raw.
This essentially means it has been caught and prepared quicker than other fish since the fresher the fish, the better the sushi (and less likelihood of food poisoning) (source: Kobe Jones).
Sushi-grade salmon lasts up to 2 hours at room temperature. If you have just purchased it fresh and plan to eat it later, you can put it in the fridge for up to 2 days. If it has spent more than 2 days in the refrigerator, you would be better off cooking it to avoid food poisoning.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that sushi-grade fish be kept away from specific temperatures to prevent the rapid spread of harmful bacteria. These temperatures include anything between 40-140°F (4 – 60°C).
Keeping it cold in an ice bath in the freezer, or wrapped very tightly in the fridge, should prevent this (source: Healthline).
Additionally, raw sushi-grade salmon is slightly different from its cooked counterpart. Raw fish tends to expire much faster than cooked fish, so if you’re coming home straight after buying the former, try to be as quick as possible so you can put the salmon in the fridge or freezer (source: Sustainable Sushi).
In the freezer, sushi-grade salmon can last up to one month in most cases. Some types of salmon may last for a shorter period, and it often depends on when the fish was caught and gutted.
You’ll need to ask your local fish market if they know how fresh the fish is since this will help you when freezing sushi-grade salmon.
Can You Freeze Sushi Grade Salmon?
You can freeze sushi-grade salmon. It must be frozen or refrigerated at a temperature colder than 40°F (4°C). Otherwise, you will have to cook it or eat it immediately. You must wrap the salmon properly before freezing to prevent cross-contamination.
If you’re freezing sushi that contains sushi grade salmon, it might be best to avoid freezing it since the different ingredients will have varying moisture content.
On the other hand, if you’re freezing sushi-grade salmon on its own, it should fare well in comparison (source: USDA).
However, you’ll need to check the temperature of your freezer before trying to freeze the salmon. Many fish restaurants and markets use commercial-grade freezers that allow the fish to be frozen adequately and consistently, and not all home freezers will be up for the task (source: Serious Eats).
If you have a deep freezer, you can use this instead. On the other hand, if you don’t have access to a deep freezer, place the salmon right at the back of your standard freezer, and don’t keep it for more than a month.
If you bought sushi-grade salmon that has already been frozen before purchase, you can take it home and put it in the freezer.
However, if it starts to thaw on the way home, you’ll need to defrost it entirely in the fridge or eat it immediately. This is because it isn’t recommended to refreeze thawed sushi-grade fish since ice crystals can form that’ll change the taste and texture of the fish, and it might even go bad (source: FDA).
The Best Way to Store Sushi Grade Salmon
The best way to store sushi-grade salmon is in the fridge if you have to store it at all. The fresher the fish, the better it will taste, and the less likely you will get food poisoning. It is usually better to play it safe with raw fish, so try to buy it on the same day you will eat it.
However, if you do need to store your salmon, it’s usually better to put it in the fridge. Try to label it with a time and date since this will tell you when you should take it out. If the raw salmon is in the fridge for more than a couple of days, you should play it safe and cook it (source: Sashimi Market).
If you choose to store it in the fridge, make sure it’s packed tight. You can use aluminum foil or cling film and then place it into a sealed container. You can use Tupperware or a sealable bag as long as it closes properly without allowing air to penetrate.
If you want to store sushi-grade salmon that’s been frozen and thawed, you’ll need to eat it within the next 24 hours. You can keep it in the refrigerator for this period — just ensure that it’s wrapped correctly and sealed in a container to prevent cross-contamination (source: Riviera Seafood Club).
Additionally, if you choose to freeze the salmon, you should ensure it’s frozen in portions. This way, you’ll only have to thaw separate portions, which is especially helpful if you bought more than you currently need.
Make sure you push all the air out of the sealable bag or container since this will ensure your salmon won’t crystallize in the freezer or get freezer burn.
Sushi-grade salmon won’t last long, so it’s usually best to consume it within 24 hours of purchase. If you’ve decided to store it, ensure you pack it tightly and label it before doing so.