How a Trained Cook Removes Tetrodotoxin From Puffer-fish

Could you ever imagine that the most lethal food could be a delicacy? No bluffing, it’s true. The Japanese are the pioneers in making Fugu, a dish prepared with Puffer fishes that has lethal amounts of a poison called tetrodotoxin. Talking of a delicacy, the recipe is way too expensive and can get lethal if not cooked rightly.

If you are dining in the restaurant to order this dish, make sure you have sufficient cash. You can even get lucky to get hold of Pufferfish from the river if you possess kayak anchors or kayak leashes, but without the talent of cooking, it’s no use. So don’t even dare to cook it by yourself.

People die!

Throughout history, there are instances when people from the East Asian region attempted to consume this fish with disastrous results. The poison is capable of paralyzing the human body such that a person cannot move an inch but is compelled to bear all the pain silently until he or she dies. Other signs include dizziness, exhaustion, headaches, nausea, and extreme difficulty in breathing.

How a Trained Cook Removes Tetrodotoxin From Puffer-fish

The person who dares to consume the fish without expert cooking will end up dying the most painful death. The person remains unconscious throughout the ordeal due to paralysis of muscles, which leads to asphyxiation and subsequently to death. The most dangerous bit is that there are no recognized antidotes that can suppress the action of this potent killer.

Charcoal does the magic

The only option is to vacant the stomach and feeds the victim with charcoal along with taking other life-support actions so that the person remains alive. What happens is charcoal binds effectively to any poison that remains in the colon? But all thanks to the Japanese, none of this is necessary. As now, consuming of Pufferfish became an art form.

This Asian cuisine has to be prepared under strict standards only by a licensed chef. The chef has to undergo many tests to get certified. In the making of Fugu, he uses a special knife called Fugu Hiki. With this knife, he can collect a greater amount of meat while eliminating the poison from it.

You may be wondering why the poison can’t be eliminated by heat from cooking. This happens as tetrodotoxin is considerably stable against heat, so the heat of cooking mainly causes no harm to the poison.

Leave some poison willingly

Moreover, in the professional art of cooking this recipe, the chef has to leave some amount of poison willingly. This makes it rather tasty and unique. The moment you consume professionally cooked fish, your lips will quiver and go numb. It’s only a small amount of poison that creates this feeling.

Now Fugu has become more than the only delight as it has turned to be a food category. The way it’s cooked and served in restaurants makes it safe for intake; besides, it offers variations such as the Sashimi, Milt, Fried, Stew, and Salad Fugu.

All types are just mouth-watering, but some individuals avoid it as they’re afraid. For all those individuals, there is good news that some non-toxic varieties of the fish are maintained through aquaculture. This is done by limiting the diet of the fish. However, the good thing is that they are said to retain the same taste. Read this article on filleting a fish.