ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eating Puffer Fish

Updated on January 24, 2012
Click thumbnail to view full-size
WANNA EAT FUGU? (Photo courtesy of FISH or Fugu in Japan or Butete in the PhilippinesFUGU SASHIMI (Photo courtesy of FISH IN A DEFENSIVE MOOD (Photo courtesy of PREPARING FUGU DISHES IN JAPAN (Photo courtesy of
WANNA EAT FUGU? (Photo courtesy of
WANNA EAT FUGU? (Photo courtesy of
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
FUGU SASHIMI (Photo courtesy of

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


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 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


      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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


      9 years ago



    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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


      9 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 

      9 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


      9 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 

      10 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 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the information on eating puffer fish.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)