Fugu - Puffer fish and its dangerous and deadly poison

Would you dare to eat a fish that, if not properly prepared, could kill you? The fish fugu, also known as puffer fish, can be very dangerous because of the poison found in your body. It contains lethal amounts of poisonous tetrodotoxin in its internal organs, mainly in the eyes, skin and liver. Then it must be carefully prepared to remove these toxic parts and not to contaminate the meat.

In certain periods of Japanese history, the spice was prohibited. And to this day it is the only dish that the Japanese emperor cannot eat, for his safety. Even though the liver is considered one of the most delicious parts, it was banned from restaurants in 1984, as it is the most poisonous part of the blowfish.

Such a poison blocks the sodium channels, paralyzing the muscles while the victim remains conscious. The poisoned person is unable to breathe, dying from choking. The meat of the fugu is really delicious, without fat, with no sharp taste and a unique whiteness, which makes this dish famous and controversial.

Fugu - the puffer fish dish that can kill


Fugu preparation and consumption

The law in Japan strictly controls the preparation of this fish in restaurants. Only chefs who qualify after training for three or more years are allowed to prepare it. It takes a lot of skill to remove the poisonous parts of the fish without contaminating all the meat. There is so much poison in the liver that the chef cannot by law throw it in ordinary garbage. After removal, the organ must be placed in a closed and isolated compartment. A specialized company collects livers and incinerates.

Only after these processes and washing the meat very well does the chef begin to prepare it. Fugu is served mainly with Sashimi and chirinabe. But it can also be served in salads, as Kebab and even cooked. The interesting thing is that the chef is not able to completely eliminate the toxin, but to reduce it. Customers experience effects like euphoria and tingling sensations. Even so, the meat of the fish is said to have a mild and delicate flavor. The dishes usually cost between 2,000 and 5,000 yen.

Fugu - puffer fish and its dangerous and deadly poison

Curiosities about the puffer fish dish

  • Between 1996 and 2006, 30 poisonings by Fugu were reported in Japan. Most of the victims were fishermen, who did not prepare it properly;
  • The fish is considered the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world, behind only a frog found mainly in Colombia;
  • There is no antidote for puffer fish poison;
  • The poisonous substance is not made by puffer fish, but by bacteria that are lodged in fish;
  • Only two grams of puffer fish poison can kill a person;
  • Some puffer fish can live in both fresh and salt water;
  • The total amount of poison found in a single fish is capable of fatally affecting up to 30 people;
  • The substance of the poison is not produced by the fish themselves, but by batteries that lodge in them;

Would you dare to eat any dish made with fugu? Tell us in the comments and share with friends. The guys from Ciência Maduca do Himalaia had the chance to try fugu, let's leave a video of the experience below: