Dare to Challenge? Top 5 Scariest Food in Japan

Top 5 Shirako 白子(しらこ)

Shirako literally means white children. Shirako is the sperm sags found in male cod or other fish. Shirako can be eaten either raw or cooked. It is one of the popular dishes in Japan. Its appearance might look like little raw brain, but it does not taste as scary as it seems to be. It has a soft and creamy texture and carries a hint of sweetness which some people think is similar to custard or cream cheese.  

The easiest time to find shirako is during the winter months (December till February). You can get it from fish markets or specialty stores for seafood.

photo credit: ameblo.jp/funafuna48/entry-12574178647.html

Top 4 Kamenote 亀の手(かめのて)

Kamenote literally means hand of turtle. It’s called hand of turtle due to its appearance, but don’t worry! Kamenote is actually Japanese gooseneck barnacle, which is a kind of shell creature that lives attached on hard rocks in the ocean. They are similar to gooseneck barnacle consumed in Spain and Portugal.

The meat tastes salty and similar to the taste of a shrimp. It can be boiled in salted water or miso soup. It’s easiest to find kamenote during the summer months (June till August). Kamenote is available in fish markets or specialty stores for seafood.

photo credit: japan-word.com/kamenote
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Top 3 Maguro no Medama マグロの目玉(まぐろのめだま)

Maguro no medama, which means tuna eyeball, is a common food in Japan. It is usually prepared in a soup or stew. Tuna eyeball is rich with nutrients such as protein and omega 3 fatty acids, it is a very healthy food for the body, although to eat it might require some courage!

Maguro no medama generally can be found in izakayas in Japan, which is a type of Japanese bar where typically inexpensive dishes and snacks are served to accompany the drinks.

photo credit: recipe.varontaste.com/?eid=67

Top 2 Ika Ikizukuri イカ活き造り (いかいきつくり)

Ika means squid and ikizukuri means “live style”, so ika ikizukuri literally means squid in “live style”. Yes, in Japan, this dish is prepared by slicing the squid in a few cuts, placed on a plate as sashimi style and served immediately. Usually it is still moving while it is being served.

It’s encouraged by the chef to pour the soy sauce on the squid and watch it “dance”. Although the squid might still be moving, there are some scientific facts show that the moving creature is not alive, it moves because Sodium Chloride in the soy sauce intensifies and creates latent electrical impulses that travel through its muscle neurons.

Ika ikizukuri is usually available in fish markets or the restaurants nearby.

photo credit: www.kawatarou.jp/
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Top 1 Dancing Ice fish 白魚の踊り食い (シラウオのおどりぐい)

Shiroou is known as ice goby or ice fish, it is transparent little fish which has an eel-like body.  Odorigui means dancing eating. Shiroou no odorigui literally means the dancing eating of ice fish.

This is the usual way how this dish is eaten. First, the fish is placed in a bowl of water, then scooped into a small bowl or cup with soy sauce, and lastly swallowed. You can feel the little fishes dancing in your mouth and throat while you “drinking” them down.

While it is possible to find this dish in other places in Japan, it’s easiest to find this dish in the restaurants in Fukuoka prefecture, where is believed to be the place of origin of this tradition.

Watch out the video below to feel the dancing ice fish!

photo credit: www.pref.aomori.lg.jp/sangyo/agri/zokuosakana_shirouo.html

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