Does anyone feel brave enough to try some Fugu I have prepared under the instruction of my Sushi Master Chef?
Fugu - Blow Fish
From Setsuko Yoshizuka
Your Guide to Japanese Cuisine
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The World's Most Deadly Feast?
Fugu (blow fish) is a fish which contains deadly poison in the organs. Despite the risk, fugu dishes remain as special feasts in Japan. Even the milt is considered as a great delicacy. Fugu is referred to as blow/globe/puffer fish since it blows its body up. The kanji (Chinese characters) used to write fugu indicates "river pig." In western Japan, fugu is called "fuku," which means "to blow" or "happiness." It's reported that about 40 kinds of blow fish are caught and cultured in Japan and that 10000 tons of blow fish are consumed each year. Shimonoseki-city in Yamaguchi, is known as fugu city and supplies a large amount of fugu.
There is an old expression such that "I want to eat fugu, but I don't want to die" in Japan. Since fugu's poison can lead to instantaneous deaths of diners, only licensed cooks are allowed to prepare fugu. You must have special skills and knowledge about fugu to be licensed. Poisonous parts of fugu differ, depending on the kind of fugu. Because of the strict regulations, the number of deaths is decreasing. Fugu dishes are usually expensive. One meal can cost $100 to $200 per person at a famous restaurant. But there are inexpensive fugu dishes (from $15 to $20) available at some restaurants. It's said that the most poisonous fugu, "Tora-fugu," is the most delicious. Tora-fugu is expensive and can cost over one hundred dollars at a fish market. Nowadays, prepared-fugu are sold at grocery stores and online stores, and fugu are eaten at Japanese homes. Fugu dishes are becoming more common than they used to be. Winter is the best season to eat fugu.