Has anyone ever tried Fugu fish?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pollopicu, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. pollopicu


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    Professional Chef
  2. boar_d_laze


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    Cook At Home
    Yes.  Once upon a time, a million years ago, a huge Japanese conglomerate wanted to do business with me, and when I said "no," they offered to fly me to Japan to weaken my will, but with no strings attached.  To understand the rest of this, you should know that I'm not really that much of a drinker, and when I do drink I don't like to get drunker than mildly pixelated.  And you also should that business entertainment after dark in Japan is extremely alcoholic.

    As part of the courtship (which didn't work despite my always weak will), they took me to several places, one of which was a fugu-ya.  The first course was fugu sashimi; the cutting was expert, and very thin, the layout on the plate was "chrystanthemum."  Fugu is bland to the point of extremely boring and chewy.  If I had to compare the taste to another "commonly" available sashimi it would be red-snapper or tai; but the comparison does the snapper and tai a disservice.  There were some other fugu things on the special fugu menu, including bone-crackers, shiro-ko, and some sort of fugu stew.  There may have been something(s) between the shiro-ko and the stew, but we were barely compos mentis by that time.  

    About five minutes into the sashimi, I got a very mild numbing on my lips but did not catch a buzz, neither did I die.  It's possible though that I did get very stoned on fugu toxin, and died on the spot, but was too drunk to notice.   

    Fugu dinner was an experience for sure.  Everyone with me was very jolly, even for Japan at night.  Sometimes it can be hard for a westerner to understand what's going on at the human level, but it appeared that my three companions (including a physicist and engineer who didn't get to do a lot of entertaining) were grateful for what was apparently as much once in a life time opportunity for them as it was for me.  This was in 1994, and the price would have been $250ish per person in today's money. 

    I love sushi and sashimi restaurants (especially Korean style!), but wouldn't go back for fugu even if I could afford it. 

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013