Sushi Grade Tuna 101: YOUR Guide to Raw Fish

August 21, 2019

Sushi Grade Tuna 101: YOUR Guide to Raw Fish

Buying and consuming raw fish can be intimidating, especially if you’re a first timer! That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about sushi grade tuna with our simple, easy-to-follow guide!

Recipe By Seafood Crate


You’ve likely seen sushi grade fish advertised in grocery stores, or on the menu at sushi and seafood restaurants… But what does it MEAN exactly? To put it simply, “sushi grade” is a term often associated with a high level of freshness and quality, as well as its ability to be consumed raw.

Despite its widespread use among grocery stores and restaurants, “sushi grade” isn’t actually regulated by the FDA. Yes, you read that correctly! This means there are no official standards a fish has to meet to qualify as sushi grade. The sad truth is that many times, the term is simply used as a marketing tactic to imply freshness.

It’s therefore important to know what to look for, and what questions to ask before you buy ANYTHING with a sushi grade label. This is where we come into play!


The key difference between our sushi, and what’s available on the market is that some fish is simply NOT sushi grade. Here’s what you need to know before you purchase raw fish:

  1. Colour Matters.Youcan determine the quality and freshness of seafood by the look and feel of it. When it comes to tuna, its colour is going to play a primary role when determining if it’s truly sushi grade. Avoid tuna that has a glowing, plastic and almost transparent red to it. Anything that looks too vibrant has been chemically treated to give off an illusion of freshness. Ours looks and feels authentic.

Tip: the natural progression of tuna is that it browns once it’s been in the freezer. If a tuna is placed in the freezer and it maintains its colour, it has most likely been chemically treated. It’s important to note that although the colour is maintained, its freshness is not. In some cases, tuna can be frozen for up to two years!

  1. Freshness.REAL sushi grade tuna comes with a higher price point… Period. Freshness is what makes a fish trulysushi grade. If you don’t want to eat tuna that’s been manipulated with chemicals and preservatives, then tuna MUST be flown in. As soon as our tuna is caught in Pacific waters, it’s immediately flown into Seafood Crate headquarters where it’s vacuum sealed and delivered to your front door. This is why sushi grade tuna comes with a higher price tag. We don’t use treatments, or dyes to give off an illusion of freshness. Seafood Crate only provides high quality, true sushi grade tuna.
  2. Sustainability.We source sustainable Yellowfin tuna. Many high-end sushi restaurants and markets use Bluefin tuna. Global Bluefin tuna populations have declined dramatically over the past few decades because of high demand causing overfishing. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Seafood Crate only sells Yellowfin tuna caught in the Pacific waters where the species is still plentiful.

So the next time you head to the grocery store, keep these simple tips in mind when you’re strolling through the fish aisle. Even better… order from Seafood Crate, because we do all of the homework for you.

Have you tried this recipe or enjoyed our products? Let us know by leaving a review! If you have any questions, please contact us.

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★ Reviews

What our customers have to say...

127 reviews
Found my fishmonger!

Our first order was a wide range of products. Having gone through each offering I can truly say your product is fresh...fresher than my local...packaged well, sustainably responsible, top quality and portioned just right. Just placed my second order. I'm sold! Seafood Crate you are my only source for fresh seafood. We especially loved the salmon, Argentinian shrimp, pickerel and Arctic char. Super impressed!

If you haven't already, do yourself a huge favour and give Seafood Crate a try. Like Vicki and I one order is all that's needed to find your own personal fish monger!
Looking forward to new offerings in the future...mussels, oysters, clams?


Seafood Crate offers a great service, a good selection of fish and always delivers. I highly recommend them.

Great fish!

We especially loved the Tuna and scallops!
We ordered an array of fish and seafood and used and enjoyed everything.
The convenience of ordering and delivery certainly added to our overall enjoyment of your products! We will continue to order your fish and seafood and will continue to recommend it to our friends and family! Many thanks for your great product!! Andrea

Excellent Fish and Customer Service

Received our first order today. It was packaged as advertised. Presentation was excellent. We were able to track the order from start to finish.
We had the salmon for supper and it was so moist and the taste was pleasing to the palate. we are looking forward to the rest of the fish we ordered.
Will never look at store purchased fish again.
Seafood crate will be our go to for fresh fish and seafood.
Thanks again

Best fish

Totally in love with your tuna. It's so good to be able to get sushi grade. I made a tuna tataki. Salmon also very good.