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Dicing death: The fish more poisonous than cyanide
BBC News ^ | 17 May 2012 | Roland Buerk

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 ...


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1 posted on 05/18/2012 2:54:36 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

I catch them all the time. I slam them against the pier and cut the line. Ugly bastads..


2 posted on 05/18/2012 2:58:54 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: MinorityRepublican
Miura-san, as he is respectfully known, has been cutting up blowfish for 60 years.

I guess it beats blowing up cuttlefish.

3 posted on 05/18/2012 2:59:59 PM PDT by 1raider1
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To: MinorityRepublican

Who figured out how to prepare them in the first place?


4 posted on 05/18/2012 3:00:22 PM PDT by pallis
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To: pallis

Honorable Chef-san #23—he survived unlike his 22 predecessors. :)


5 posted on 05/18/2012 3:02:49 PM PDT by Sudetenland (Anybody but Obama!!!!)
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To: MinorityRepublican

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...


6 posted on 05/18/2012 3:02:49 PM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: MinorityRepublican

I’d rather test my culinary fate with a White Castle cheeseburger and onion rings.


7 posted on 05/18/2012 3:03:24 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: pallis
Who figured out how to prepare them in the first place?

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.

8 posted on 05/18/2012 3:05:25 PM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: MinorityRepublican

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.


9 posted on 05/18/2012 3:05:57 PM PDT by forgotten man (forgotten man)
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To: forgotten man
The Japanese are inscrutable.

I'd scrute one.

10 posted on 05/18/2012 3:10:16 PM PDT by 1raider1
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To: 1raider1

Scrute one? We need pics for a blowfish thread!!


11 posted on 05/18/2012 3:12:06 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: pallis
Who figured out how to prepare them in the first place?

Same thing with cashews. Mysterious.

12 posted on 05/18/2012 3:14:34 PM PDT by houeto (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: 1raider1

Scrute you!


13 posted on 05/18/2012 3:16:38 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: forgotten man

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 :/


14 posted on 05/18/2012 3:17:11 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist or Patriot)
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To: pallis

The sixth husband...


15 posted on 05/18/2012 3:17:11 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: MinorityRepublican
But Tokyo's city government is planning to ease restrictions that allow only highly trained and licensed chefs to serve the dish.

Oh, they're licensed are they? Well, everything should be just hunky-dory. What could go wrong?

16 posted on 05/18/2012 3:17:53 PM PDT by Dysart (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -- Edmund Burke)
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To: MinorityRepublican
Cutting blowfish

WARNING: graphic!

17 posted on 05/18/2012 3:19:55 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: MinorityRepublican
"Fugu me!"


18 posted on 05/18/2012 3:20:04 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Bikkuri

Kind of chewy was it??


19 posted on 05/18/2012 3:24:16 PM PDT by NathanR
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To: forgotten man

You should try frozen grapes on a hot summer day. Yum!


20 posted on 05/18/2012 3:24:16 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: forgotten man
The "peeling" bit is based on their practice of using "night soil" (human feces) for fertilizer.

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"?)

21 posted on 05/18/2012 3:25:43 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: goseminoles
Ugly bastads..

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.

22 posted on 05/18/2012 3:27:33 PM PDT by tsomer
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To: Bikkuri

Calamari!! Yum!!!


23 posted on 05/18/2012 3:28:12 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: Larry Lucido

“Fan-fugu-tastic!”


24 posted on 05/18/2012 3:30:19 PM PDT by shotgun
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To: pallis

Many die...tlyel and ellel.


25 posted on 05/18/2012 3:31:01 PM PDT by fish hawk (Religion: Man's attempt to gain salvation or the approbation of God by his own works)
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To: TXnMA

No “A” sign = DON’T EAT HERE!


26 posted on 05/18/2012 3:35:52 PM PDT by panaxanax (Voting 'Third Party' will ensure a Communist-Marxist-Socialist dominated Supreme Court!)
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To: TXnMA

I thought they gave up doing that years ago.


27 posted on 05/18/2012 3:39:11 PM PDT by NathanR
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To: CaptainK

I’d 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.


28 posted on 05/18/2012 3:41:02 PM PDT by dmz
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To: MinorityRepublican
The real connoisseurs of blowfish want enough of the poison left in to give them a 'tingle'.
29 posted on 05/18/2012 3:42:10 PM PDT by AU72
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To: MinorityRepublican

I guess the blowfish we used to catch in the surf at the Jersey shore are different.
We sometimes fried them up for breakfast.


30 posted on 05/18/2012 3:43:50 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Larry Lucido

31 posted on 05/18/2012 3:46:59 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: MinorityRepublican
So proposals by Tokyo's city government to relax the rules have been met with an outcry from qualified chefs. Coming into effect in October, they would allow restaurants to serve portions of fugu that they have bought ready-prepared off-site.

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.

32 posted on 05/18/2012 3:48:34 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
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To: Bikkuri

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a6tSyDHXViM

I love the Hitler Onion.


33 posted on 05/18/2012 3:48:57 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: 1raider1

“I’d scrute one.”

Been there, done that.


34 posted on 05/18/2012 3:52:43 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: Larry Lucido

“Can’t you see that my capable hands are BUSY?!?”

:)


35 posted on 05/18/2012 3:53:28 PM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: Lancey Howard

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.


36 posted on 05/18/2012 3:53:28 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
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To: Lancey Howard

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.


37 posted on 05/18/2012 3:55:33 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
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To: Bikkuri

Love squid!!! Maybe its a southern thing, but is served alot in Florida. Calamari.. greek grub..


38 posted on 05/18/2012 3:56:08 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: central_va

Those things have a bigger liver than I.


39 posted on 05/18/2012 4:01:16 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: goseminoles

I think that sack he removes at 0:56 has all the guts inside not just the liver.


40 posted on 05/18/2012 4:05:07 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

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..


41 posted on 05/18/2012 4:09:58 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: goseminoles

Calamari; Italian... Delicious though!


42 posted on 05/18/2012 4:14:03 PM PDT by Errant
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To: MinorityRepublican

Please no Helen Thomas pictures to be posted here!!!


43 posted on 05/18/2012 4:15:41 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The President who ate the dog, will soon wag the dog.)
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To: pallis

“Who figured out how to prepare them in the first place?”

The person who held Bubba’s beer.


44 posted on 05/18/2012 4:18:44 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Would you rather eat dog food or cat food? Guess it's Romney 2012.)
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To: Errant

I stand corrected. Maybe it was octopus.. who knows?? Just glad its Friday!!!


45 posted on 05/18/2012 4:20:07 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: HiTech RedNeck

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 ;)


46 posted on 05/18/2012 4:20:09 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist or Patriot)
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To: goseminoles

Lol.. I’m from the desert area in West Texas.. not too much seafood there ;)


47 posted on 05/18/2012 4:21:32 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist or Patriot)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

We keep frozen grapes about year round. Fresh-frozen blueberries are great, too.


48 posted on 05/18/2012 4:22:11 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: Larry Lucido

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.

49 posted on 05/18/2012 4:23:00 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: NathanR

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 :)


50 posted on 05/18/2012 4:23:03 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist or Patriot)
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