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Eating Puffer Fish

Updated on January 24, 2012
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WANNA EAT FUGU? (Photo courtesy of http://kodiakak.files.com/)PUFFER FISH or Fugu in Japan or Butete in the PhilippinesFUGU SASHIMI (Photo courtesy of http://www.diseno-art.com/)PUFFER FISH IN A DEFENSIVE MOOD (Photo courtesy of http://blog.miguelangelfernandez.es/)COOKS PREPARING FUGU DISHES IN JAPAN (Photo courtesy of http://www.doobybrain.com/)
WANNA EAT FUGU? (Photo courtesy of http://kodiakak.files.com/)
WANNA EAT FUGU? (Photo courtesy of http://kodiakak.files.com/)
PUFFER FISH or Fugu in Japan or Butete in the Philippines
PUFFER FISH or Fugu in Japan or Butete in the Philippines
FUGU SASHIMI (Photo courtesy of http://www.diseno-art.com/)
FUGU SASHIMI (Photo courtesy of http://www.diseno-art.com/)
PUFFER FISH IN A DEFENSIVE MOOD (Photo courtesy of http://blog.miguelangelfernandez.es/)
PUFFER FISH IN A DEFENSIVE MOOD (Photo courtesy of http://blog.miguelangelfernandez.es/)
COOKS PREPARING FUGU DISHES IN JAPAN (Photo courtesy of http://www.doobybrain.com/)
COOKS PREPARING FUGU DISHES IN JAPAN (Photo courtesy of http://www.doobybrain.com/)

The 'Famed' Poison Fish

It’s like the biggest dare in your life: EATING PUFFER FISH! Some people live dangerously by getting hooked into eating this kind of fish. The ethnicity or exotic feel of doing this may even cost your life if you’re not too careful. So, how on Earth will some people, even in the richest or poorest country, try eating it as a way of life?

Here in the Philippines, we call puffer fish as butete or big bellied fish or porcupine fish because of its features. Even, some of those who have  eaten puffer fish were poisoned, they still crave to eat it or when there's no catch at all or no alternative meal for a moment.

Tricky villagers who lost their chickens or eaten by their nosy neighbors devised a way to get even. Neighbors committing theft were killed by the poison of the puffer fish when they again tried stealing chickens from their irate neighbors. Their secret: they injected the poison on the skin of the chicken but it will be harmless to the chicken. Once, eaten by the theft, they will be poisoned by it automatically. Whoa! Better be careful when you visit a fishing village here in the country. People know a lot on how to deal with the secrets of the sea.

Eating Poison Fish c/o NationalGeographic

Fugu Sashimi in Japan

Sashimi is a tiny slices or fish fillets being eaten raw mostly by Japanese. You can serve it with soy sauce mixed with wasabi (a hot condiment just like peppers). But, fugu sashimi? OMG!!! Am I nuts to dare the challenge?

If not prepared properly, you can die of oxygen deprivation or asphyxia when you eat poison-laden puffer fish. There's no permanent cure for it but to ventilate the victim and observe their blood pressure because the poison targets the respiratory and circulatory systems of the patient.

When I was on the radio, I reported a fish poisoning incident when they eat fugu fish. Luckily, all of them survived, but they promised groggily that they will never try eating puffer fish again.

But in Japan, it is the most dangerous fish to eat in their cuisine. Although, equipped with expertise in preparing the dish, restaurant owners will not leave their guests dying, I guess. They're just crazy enough to include it in their menu, so that they can attract brave customers to try that kind of exotic dish or specialty.

Fugu is the Japanese word for it is and is also a Japanese dish prepared from the meat of puffer fish (normally species of Takifugu, Lagocephalus, or Sphoeroides) or porcupine fish of the genus Diodon.

Cutting of Fugu (Blowfish) In Japan c/o drurin

Will the Emperor of Japan eat the Fugu?

 No one will dare the emperor of Japan to eat raw flesh of fugu. It's for his own safety. Right? Maybe, If I visit the palace and meet the emperor and talk to him face to face, I will ask him if he can try eating it, regardless of his status.

Well, according to historians and archeologists,eating fugu in Japan is a way of life that dates back for more than 2, 000 years ago. It continued in the shogunate eras until today. the consumption of fugu was prohibited in many provinces or prefectures, but still, fishermen tried cultivating it.

As of 2008, advances in fugu research and farming have allowed some farmers to mass produce non-toxic fugu. Researchers surmised that fugu’s tetrodotoxin came from eating other animals that had the tetrodotoxin-laden bacteria, and developed immunity over time. Many farmers now are producing ‘poison-free’ fugu by keeping the fugu away from tetrodotoxin-laden bacteria. Utsuki, a town in Oita, became famous for selling non-poisonous fugu. No one has been poisoned eating it.

So far, so good. Have you tried eating it?

Preparing Fugu in 4 ways c/o schlomo

Comments

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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @looniestlove: Thanks, kabayan. It's been a pleasure having you here. It's risky to eat but most of us are dared by our friends to try something extreme or upbeat.

      Eating puffer fish is one, although, I haven't done it yet.

    • looniestlove profile image

      looniestlove 

      6 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

      gosh would you even dare to try eating a puffer fish? I would not risk my life eating a poisonous fish like this. But I'm amazed that somehow other people are risking their lives just to taste this fish...but i must commend, this is a well written hub and i find it very informative...thanks for sharing hub with us...great job

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @WD Curry 111 : Thanks for dropping by. The flesh of puffer fish is very succulent, although there's always a hint of danger when eating it.

      LOL! The chicken thieves? I'll just ignore them.

      Sure, if ever I have time, we'll eat a meal together.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      7 years ago from Space Coast

      Here in Florida we have always had toxin free puffer fish. The locals love to eat the delicate tail portion. Lately they have become poisonous. I am not sure if it is the same as the tetrodotoxin. No one knows how this came about yet.

      We don't put up with chicken thieves either. If you are hungry, let me know. We'll have a meal together.

    • profile image

      Rosemary 

      7 years ago

      I TRIED THIS FISH FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MEXICO, NEVER HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT IT BEING SO POISINOUS...SO LET ME TELL YOU IM STILL HERE.

      ITS A REALLY GOOD FISH SO MEATY, SO NOW WHEN I GO TO MEXICO THAT'S THE ONLY FISH THAT I EAT NOW....VERY GOOD!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, for the info, too, Sir Peter. I just stirred the surface of the water, so they'll say, regarding this topic. I'll try searching for your hub, as well. Happy New Year!!!

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 

      7 years ago from South East Asia

      I just published a hub on Fugu and then noted you had written one under a different name. Good I enjoyed it and the two hubs approach the same subject from different angles. Thanks.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @kids-toy-box: They started cultivating non-poisonous fugu these days. They successfully eradicated the tetrodotoxin out from the fish. Still, I don't want to eat it raw, as in sashimi with soy sauce and wasabi!

    • kids-toy-box profile image

      kids-toy-box 

      8 years ago

      Lol this is true..though I think they must a btter understanding of diffretnt types seeing as fish is a staple part of their diet.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Me, too, KTB. Better be safe by avoiding this kind of fish. But Japanese people are so brave that they eat dangerously.

    • kids-toy-box profile image

      kids-toy-box 

      8 years ago

      I love fish but I think I will pass on this one:)I've never heard of PUFFER FISH before...thanks to this hub I ownt be ordering one anytime soon:).

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Have you tried it, Sandy? Me? I will not dare to do it, for now.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the information on eating puffer fish.

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