P2. Fugu’s White Meat

There’s nothing quite like the white meat of the fugu’s poison blowfish. Found mostly in the south part of Japan off the island of Kyushu, this blowfish is fished in the open seas off the Bungo channel.

Every day at the food market just after 3:20 AM auction the fat wild tora fugu gets shipped to those food lovers around Japan. Given the season is short and the demand impressive, wild fugu is in high demand. The principal market still remains Tokyo because there are specialty shops, focusing only on the service of fugu.

So many people wonder to themselves why the food the fish is so poisonous, poison that is called tetrodotoxin, and kills without much hope. While the poison is strong enough to kill, a hundredth of milligram will paralyze your tongue and mouth.

I guess for centuries Japanese were drawn to fugu because of its poison, and there is a long-standing tradition. One reason is the seasonality of fugu, and the very particular look to it. It looks very cute but can be very dangerous.

Expert chefs separate the liver and other poisonous parts from the rest of the fish but only one-third of wild fugu have enough poison to kill. This perhaps one of the reasons people are overconfident and take risks to taste the fugu liver, which is very fatty and has a unctioness to it.

So chefs used to serve the liver after cleansing its poison through a traditional method, however sometimes the trace of poison remained not enough to kill but enough to thrill by slightly numb the lips or the mouth.

But Japanese keep eating it surreptitiously despite the periodic bans of fugu after having killed people over the last number of years,including a famous kabuki actor recognized as a living national treasure.

This time the white meat is sliced perfectly by the chef and flower patterned. The quality is outstanding, freshness texture and taste together with the condiments makes it all worth while.

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