The Japanese Love This Poisonous Dish

Japanese people’s appetite for this poisonous fish is driving the species to its extinction.


One of the most expensive and celebrated dishes in Japanese cuisine, fugu’s main ingredient is puffer fish, which contains a poison 1200 times stronger than cyanide. There is no known antidote to Tetrodotoxin, the poison present in its ovaries, liver and eyes. One single fish is said to contain enough harmful toxins to kill 30 adults.


You should be. But the Japanese love it and can’t get enough of it.

The Chinese puffer fish, one of four types of the fish, is the most delicious when it comes to food. Like its fellow puffers, this fish ingests toxin-producing bacteria and uses them as a weapon of defense against predators. Puffer’s popularity and demand in Japanese restaurants is so high that it reportedly landed this fish in the list of critically endangered species.


Fugu is an expensive dish prepared by highly professional, licensed chefs who have been trained in the culinary arts of cooking the poisonous fish without letting the toxins contaminate the meat. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan provides a list of fish organs that can be consumed and it regulates the procedure of cooking the dish.

While there haven’t been many reported cases of diners getting poisoned by the dish in a restaurant setting, home chefs caused many fatalities over the years.

This fish is not only famous in Japan for its exquisite taste, it is also consumed in several other parts of the world.

The puffer fish, no matter how delicious it might be, is easily one of the world’s most dangerous dishes to eat. Not to mention, this poor species might also go extinct sooner than later just because underneath all those toxins is a delicious fish.

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