Unheated Preparations of Fish and Shellfish

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

People in many parts of the world enjoy eating ocean fish and shellfish raw. Unlike meats, fish have the advantage of relatively tender muscle and a naturally savory taste, and are easier and more interesting to eat raw. They offer the experience of a kind of primal freshness. The cook may simply provide a few accompanying ingredients with complementary flavors and textures, or firm the fish’s texture by means of light acidification (ceviche), salting (poke), or both (anchovies briefly cured in salt and lemon juice). And raw preparations don’t require the use of fuel, which is often scarce on islands and coastlines.