Puffer fish restaurant challenges punters
Tue, 05 Jun 2012 7:00p.m.
By Helen Vaughn
Puffer fish: Is it a delectable delicacy or death on your dish? It's like the Russian roulette of the food world.
A new puffer fish speciality restaurant has just opened on Auckland’s North Shore, but it's not proving very popular just yet.
“I don't want competition with other restaurants like Korean or Chinese or Japanese restaurants, there are too many restaurants in Auckland, so I want to open a no competition restaurant,” says owner, James Ahn
No competition? Well, he's got that, but he doesn't have much business either.
Puffer fishes defence mechanism is to puff up. It might make them look cute, but each one carries enough poison to kill 30 people. It is hundreds of times more poisonous than strychnine or cyanide.
In Japan, they call it fugu. Chefs go through a two or three year apprenticeship, and only a third pass it.
One small slip in the gutting process can cause numbness, dizziness, vomiting, quickened heart rate, and paralysed muscles which then stop the diner breathing.
Dozens of people are poisoned in Japan every year and a few of them die. There is no antidote.
Mr Ahn imports his puffer fish frozen and already filleted from Korea. He says the fish is made safe before it's sent here, and has a certificate from the Korean ministry for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries to prove it.
It says the product was gutted by a certified person and therefore is deemed fit for human consumption.
And once it gets here, it has a MAF Biosecurity New Zealand clearance certificate.
On the menu: Puffer fish porridge, puffer fish soup, puffer fish skin.
Prices range from $10 for fish porridge, up to $80 for spicy steamed puffer fish.
Traditionally in Japan if a customer dies because of poisoning, the chef has to kill themselves with their own fish knife
In that vein, Mr Ahn is encouraging you to come and try it, and he bets his life on it that you'll survive and even enjoy the experience.
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18/12/2012 2:06:03 p.m.
7/06/2012 2:55:01 p.m.
Teresa Martin wrote:
Soundz so yummy
7/06/2012 2:43:57 p.m.
I love asian food they are truelly enjoyable to eat Im willing to even try their puffer fish it looked so yum But Im not insured maybe I should try that first aye tristan your the man. Good on you for not being fussy yayah.
6/06/2012 12:42:10 a.m.
I'd give it a go, i had 2 scorpions at Lovely India restaurant in Rotorua, one in a curry type soup and one fried, they also do one in a vodka shot, had a numb tingly mouth for couple of hours after.
5/06/2012 8:35:13 p.m.
Here's an idea - rather than just print the script from the show tonight, why not put the name, address and phone number of the restaurant in the article?
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