Surviving The World’s Most Deadly Sushi: Fugu
The World’s Deadliest Sushi – Fugu
I’m guessing that a majority of you who clicked on this blog recognized the picture from the famous episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats Blowfish. That’s the first memory Alyse or I had of fugu, and turns out we weren’t alone after talking to travellers from all around the world who consistently quote Simpsons as their first introduction to fugu.
But here’s the question, after seeing Homer raced to the hospital would we try it?
Recent changes in Japanese regulations have allowed more vendors to serve fugu at cheaper prices which means it’s now even easier and cheaper to knock off an old “bucket list” item. But does that mean it’s not as safe?
We found a restaurant near Dogenzaka Hill (up from Shibuya Crossing) which specializes solely in fugu (if you couldn’t tell by the giant blowfish on the door).
Walking in we knew this was a classy joint and with only shorts and t-shirts on we felt a little underdressed but we were treated very well. We agreed going into dinner that we were going to have one plate of sashimi and then get the hell our of there…unless of course we die from the deadly blowfish poison.
We sat down and ordered a plate of Fugu sashimi for about $15 Canadian, not a bad deal we thought, especially considering that they even served us tea and a little salad thing as well.
After a few nervous moments they bring out the Fugu and lay it out in front of us. Even though we knew we’d be fine eating, the fact that a few people die every year of blowfish poisoning was heavy in our minds. The toxins contained within one 6-pound Tiger Blowfish are strong enough to kill 32 healthy adults.
All right, so here goes nothing, we both reach down at the same time with our chopsticks and grabbed our first bites…
So you might be wondering, what did it taste like? What did it feel like? To quote Anothony Bourdain, fugu has “an unremarkable taste” however the sensation was a little different as we both felt a tiny bit of tingling in our throats and tongues. I’m sure if we ordered the entire set menu (like they wanted us to) our tongues and throats may have felt differently!
The following pictures of us keeled over were not because we were slowly getting poisoned by our dinner, it was because we received the cheque for dinner and saw it was double what we thought it was going to be because this restaurant charged a hidden ‘table fee”.
Although we ended up paying more than we had wanted to, the experience of actually eating a piece of fish that could kill us was a thrill and something we are very proud we were able to do while still in Japan.
Let us know if you’ve tried fugu/blowfish in the past and what you thought of it.
Ross & Alyse