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Ikejime step by step

Ikejime is a Japanese method for the slaughter of fish whose objective is to avoid unnecessary stress and suffering of the fish, mitigating all the effects of the biochemical reactions at the time of slaughter. When done correctly, it not only preserves the flavor and texture of the fish, it also allows the meat to develop an umami dimension when aged.

Step 1: Brain puncture

The fish is taken out of the water, immobilized and with a quick movement a puncture is made in the brain with a steel spike, which prevents it from sending stress signals to the rest of its body.

Step 2: Gill cutting

In the gills are the main blood vessels, and cutting them allows the blood to drain quickly for clean meat.

Step 3: Spinal disconnection

A small cut is made at the base of the tail and a steel wire is inserted through the entire medulla, disconnecting the nerve endings, preventing the fish from sending more stress signals.

Step 4: Bleed out

The fish immediately goes to a bleeding vat where by means of gravity and due to the cutting of the gills it quickly loses blood, this guarantees the previously mentioned muscular cleaning.

Step 5: Cool down

The fish is placed in slush prepared with ice and sea water. The goal of this step is to dramatically lower the body temperature as soon as possible until ideally reaching a temperature of -0.5 degrees Celsius in the spine area of ​​the fish.