Fugu, the most delicious poison

Cooking with: Fugu, the most delicious poison, even without ‘nduja

Fugu is a Japanese dish prepared from the meat of pufferfish. Because pufferfish is lethally poisonous if prepared incorrectly, fugu has become one of the most celebrated and notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine. Fugu, the most delicious poisonPuffer Fish contain the poison tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is a very potent neurotoxin and shuts down electrical signaling in nerves by binding to the pores of sodium channel proteins in nerve cell membranes. The tetrodotoxin is very stable and not affected by the heat of cooking. It does not cross the blood-brain barrier, leaving the victim fully conscious while paralyzing the remainder of the body.
If an ingested dose of the fugu’s poison is lethal, as more and more muscles are paralyzed, symptoms may include dizziness, exhaustion, headache, nausea or difficulty breathing. For 50% to 80% of the victims, death follows within four to 24 hours. The victim remains fully conscious throughout most of the ordeal, but cannot speak or move due to paralysis, and soon also cannot breathe and subsequently asphyxiates. If the victim survives the first 24 hours, he or she usually recovers completely.
There is no known antidote, and treatment consists of emptying the stomach, feeding the victim activated charcoal to bind the toxin and taking standard life-support measures to keep the victim alive until the effect of the poison has worn off. Japanese toxicologists in several medical research centers are currently working on developing an antidote to tetrodotoxin.

 Fugu, the most delicious poison


  1. Cut around the mouth and the eyes of the blowfish using the knife, and pull the skin off (there are no scales).
  2. Wash the blowfish under cold running water to remove the gel that coats the fish.
  3. Remove the eyes and organs of the blowfish with the knife. Be extra careful in this step, particularly with the liver and ovaries as they contain the highest concentration of the poison, and if they burst or are accidentally cut, the toxin will seep into the flesh
  4. Cut through the flesh of the blowfish, carefully removing it from the bones.
  5. Cut off the head and chop it into two or three pieces, depending on size.

 Fugu, the most delicious poison


  • Although it may appear simple to properly prepare blowfish, it is not advisable to attempt this at home.

— instructions from ehow.com, the initial part I forgot.. —

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