I believe I was one of the first non-Japanese chefs to serve raw fish in the Japanese style in London. Fifteen years ago there were few Japanese restaurants and sashimi and sushi had yet to become fashionable internationally. Ten years ago sushi bars were all the rage on the West Coast of the USA, and we are now just starting to see a new generation of cheaper Japanese fast-food outlets gaining the same kind of popularity in Britain. Leave sushi to the professionals, however, as it is far too difficult There is a mystique and a formality surrounding sashimi. In Japan, special schools teach the art of preparing, slicing and presenting raw fish. At this level sashimi is a refined and esoteric form, but this should not put you off serving raw fish at home. There is no real mystery -just the freshest fish, the sharpest knife, a clean chopping board and the essential accompaniments: wasabi (Japanese green horseradish) and Kikkoman soy sauce. An attractive serving plate is integral to the presentation.
The following recipes describe 4 different types of sashimi, each of which may be served as a starter - but for a really spectacular feast serve all four.