The Deadly Blowfish (Fugu) (2 of 2)
Nelson @ Tora Fugu Tei: Now for the main courses of Blowfish. We upgraded to Sumibi yaki-fugu, a grilled version, so we got this wonderful charcoal grill at our table. The dish came with some vegetables and large chunks of fugu...that were still beating! If you watch that video, yes we were all delighted by how fresh the fish was and how "strong" it was. My aunt explains that because it has to puff up so large, it has to have strong muscles for that.
The technique to making this is to have it on the very hot grill for a while, but then redip the fish in the sauce. There were all sorts of different pieces to eat, just skin (chewy with a strong flavour), meat pieces, boney pieces and then filets, which I liked the best. True to my aunt's reasoning, the muscular parts were full of meat. Once again it tasted more like a land animal than a fish. Plus the smokiness made it taste even better.
The next course was Tora-fugu-Karaage, basically battered and deep fried blowfish, much like karaage chicken. The deep frying was excellent as it was not too oily and it had just enough batter. This plate also had fish skin, fillet, meaty boney pieces and taro. I really liked the preparation and think that Fugu is a great fish for deep frying.
After reading about it on the website, we didn't get served a Fugu speciality, which is the milt. If it was served in the restaurant to me, I probably would have eaten it, but after doing some research on it now, I now know it is fish sperm. Yeah. But it is considered a delicacy and costs ~$30 by itself. In retrospect, perhaps it was better that we skipped it.
The last course is a mixed rice dish which reminded me of bibimbap bowl. Instead, this one had grated seaweed, egg, cooked fugu, fugu skin, nori, green onion and of course our nemesis, tororo. But surprisingly this mix of ingredients worked really well together and tasted good! Actually, it tasted really really good. It's my cousin's favourite part of the meal, and I can see why!
The dessert was a scoop of ice cream that came with "red sugar" in Chinese, but Japanese people call it "black sugar", famously from Okinawa. It is basically unprocessed, raw sugar and has a very distinct taste that I like. I wish more restaurants served this!
From my notes I can tell I was getting less and less coherent throughout the meal, so either the alcohol got to me, or I was feeling the effects of the Fugu poison. Either way, I'm alive today and lived to blog about my experience! Yum!
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