Skip to comments.Dicing death: The fish more poisonous than cyanide
Posted on 05/18/2012 2:54:31 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
The Japanese delicacy fugu, or blowfish, is so poisonous that the smallest mistake in its preparation could be fatal. But Tokyo's city government is planning to ease restrictions that allow only highly trained and licensed chefs to serve the dish.
Kunio Miura always uses his special knives to prepare fugu - wooden-handled with blades tempered by a swordsmith to a keen edge. Before he starts work in his kitchen they are brought to him by an assistant, carefully stored in a special box.
Miura-san, as he is respectfully known, has been cutting up blowfish for 60 years but still approaches the task with caution. A single mistake could mean death for a customer.
Fugu is an expensive delicacy in Japan and the restaurants that serve it are among the finest in the country. In Miura-san's establishment a meal starts at $120 (£76) a head, but people are willing to pay for the assurance of the fugu chef licence mounted on his wall, yellowed now with age. He is one of a select guild authorised by Tokyo's city government to serve the dish.
When he begins work the process is swift, and mercifully out of sight of the surviving fugu swimming in their tank by the restaurant door.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
I catch them all the time. I slam them against the pier and cut the line. Ugly bastads..
I guess it beats blowing up cuttlefish.
Who figured out how to prepare them in the first place?
Honorable Chef-san #23—he survived unlike his 22 predecessors. :)
Two of the best meals that I have ever eaten have been in Japan.
One of them was breakfast outdoors in the garden of a Kagoshima ryokan overlooking the Sakurajima volcano across the bay.
The other one was the complete fugu dinner that I had in Osaka. Very elegant presentation of a delicious multi-course meal. The fugu was sliced so thinly that it was almost transparent. Somebody else paid for that one...
I’d rather test my culinary fate with a White Castle cheeseburger and onion rings.
That question is related to the one about who first discovered that it's best not to mix poison ivy leaves in with your other salad greens.
I used to work with Japanese people. One of the Japanese ladies watched me eat an apple without peeling it first. She said that she thought it was gross to eat unpeeled fruit. They even peel grapes before eating them. However, they will eat ANYTHING that comes out of the ocean. Jellyfish, dried little fish with the dried fish guts inside, herring roe, poisonous fish, yum yum. The Japanese are inscrutable.
I'd scrute one.
Scrute one? We need pics for a blowfish thread!!
Same thing with cashews. Mysterious.
Octopus, potato, corn, mayo, squid and tuna pizza >.< :p (barf)
When I first got here.. the first food mistake I made was pointing to some onion rings on the menu.. looked like the ONLY edible thing there...
was fried squid >.< puked and wretched for an hour :/
The sixth husband...
Oh, they're licensed are they? Well, everything should be just hunky-dory. What could go wrong?
Kind of chewy was it??
You should try frozen grapes on a hot summer day. Yum!
Driving through the fields (especially on a motorcycle) the morning after they have fertilized is not a pleasant experience. (To which I can attest -- personal experience...)
They even sell special disinfectant chemicals to be added to the wash/rinse water for use on cleaning fruits and vegetables.
US GIs have lots of tales about folks who tried to take shortcuts on that sanitation issue... (Ever hear of the "GI Trots"?)
They're all feminists...
There's a bar in Raleigh NC I used to frequent; great crowd, great burgers.
The owner suspended blowfish behind the bar. It has all the guts removed and tanned somehow to preserve it in its inflated state. A small light is installed in it and it glows through it's translucent skin. Been there as long as I can remember.
Connoisseur that I am, I asked the waitress if they'd sell it. She said "you wouldn't believe how many customers ask me that."
Just so you know, if the government will let you.
Many die...tlyel and ellel.
No “A” sign = DON’T EAT HERE!
I thought they gave up doing that years ago.
Id rather test my culinary fate with a White Castle cheeseburger and onion rings.
Hilarious. Given the rigorous (until now I guess) training the blowfish guys had to endure, compared to white castle food preparers, I’m betting the odds are better with the blowfish from a health and safety standpoint.
I guess the blowfish we used to catch in the surf at the Jersey shore are different.
We sometimes fried them up for breakfast.
THIS appears to be the thing that professional fugu chefs are up in arms about. The restaurants that served this ready prepared fugu would themselves only need their own chefs to have a passing familiarity with fugu, because it had been previously prepared by a pro. It's more like a protest for employment security for professional fugu chefs, as this system would allow one professional fugu chef to support multiple restaurants.
I love the Hitler Onion.
“I’d scrute one.”
Been there, done that.
“Can’t you see that my capable hands are BUSY?!?”
It could be a different species. IIRC there is talk about genetically engineered farmed fugu that would be perfectly safe. But then it wouldn’t have any more appeal in Japan’s foofoo fish dishes than a carp.
Oh... and IIRC even the present fugu only gets the poison from microorganisms in the water it lives in. If one is raised in water without these microorganisms, the fugu does not have the poison either.
Love squid!!! Maybe its a southern thing, but is served alot in Florida. Calamari.. greek grub..
Those things have a bigger liver than I.
I think that sack he removes at 0:56 has all the guts inside not just the liver.
Im not a biology major but I think your right. After that was removed, there were no more innards. I guess I was listening to the commentary..
Calamari; Italian... Delicious though!
Please no Helen Thomas pictures to be posted here!!!
“Who figured out how to prepare them in the first place?”
The person who held Bubba’s beer.
I stand corrected. Maybe it was octopus.. who knows?? Just glad its Friday!!!
It also picks up non living poisons (mercury) and the toxins stay in the liver.
Was offered fugu once at a business party.. I kindly refused ;)
Lol.. I’m from the desert area in West Texas.. not too much seafood there ;)
We keep frozen grapes about year round. Fresh-frozen blueberries are great, too.
Poison, poison, tasty fish.
The craziest thing I've heard is that some Japanese consider that the perfect fugu leaves just enough of the neurotoxin to make their lips and tongue go numb.
It didn’t last too long, so I don’t really remember.. BUT, when I was stationed in Miami, I did eat some Thai squid... VERY chewy and so spicy I couldn’t taste it.. survived that one :)