Categories: sushi

Is Your Sushi Fresh? Here’s How You Can Tell

Matsuhisa is proud to always serve the finest sushi in the Denver area. Every one of our sushi rolls and dishes is expertly made with only the freshest fish.

Should you find yourself sampling sushi elsewhere or attempting to make your own sushi at home, some tried and true techniques are recommended to ensure you are only consuming the freshest fish on the market.


Fresh fish has firm flesh. After gently pressing your finger on a piece of fish, the flesh should spring back immediately. If it does not, or if the fish feels mushy to the touch, it is not fresh and should not be eaten.


Contrary to popular myth, fresh sushi shouldn’t smell “fishy.” If fish you are about to prepare or purchase emits a strong, pungent odor, then it is not fresh and should not be eaten.

When fish is old or about to go bad, some establishments may chill it to the lowest temperature possible. This technique is employed in an attempt to mask the smell. If your sushi feels abnormally cold when it first arrives, allow it to sit at room temperature for a minute or two. If the sushi takes on a noticeable odor, you’ll want to send back to the kitchen.


As fish ages, it loses its natural color. It is a visual cue that can be used to determine if the fish on your plate has likely been sitting in a cooler longer than it ought to have been.

Fresh sushi is art. It boasts the vibrant, appealing colors of the fish and should be as interesting to look at as it is to eat.

Higher Standards

Examining the fish is not the only way to determine if your sushi is fresh. Take a look around the restaurant or fish market. A restaurant or market that takes pride in its appearance and ambiance very likely will take pride in the food they serve as well.

Don’t be shy about asking the server questions about the food preparation process at any restaurant. It is also not impolite to ask from where the fish is sourced. Chefs generally openly share this information with their wait staff to pass on to their guests. While listening, discover the level of care and dedication the kitchen puts into each and every dish they serve.

A Fresh Take on Sushi

We invite you to make a reservation at Matsuhisa to experience Chef Nobu’s new take on the classics, like the popular Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño. Our chefs and servers are always happy to answer your questions and help you select the ideal sushi dishes for your tastes.


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