Choose from Three Options
- $29 for one two-hour beginner’s sushi-making class for one ($60 value)
- $58 for one two-hour beginner’s sushi-making class for two ($120 value)
- $116 for one two-hour beginner’s sushi-making class for four ($240 value)
Fugu: The World’s Most Dangerous Delicacy
If you see fugu on the menu, you know an extremely high-level chef is in the kitchen. To find out why, read on:
For the Japanese sushi chefs who prepare fugu—commonly known as pufferfish—their craft can be a matter of life and death. A deadly chemical known as tetrodotoxin lurks in fugu’s inner organs—there’s enough in one fish to kill 30 men—and skilled chefs must cut around the toxic viscera to extract the edible flesh without leaving behind a drop of venom. However, fugu served in the United States is considered extremely low risk: it comes—frozen—from a single Japanese importer, and its safety is guaranteed by the Japanese government. Moreover, American chefs must be trained in fugu preparation to serve it, so only a select number of restaurants serve the fish, whose delicate flavor has been compared to that of fluke.
Like the United States, Japan holds its fugu chefs to a high standard, and every summer aspirants arrive at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo for the biggest test of their lives. While proctors look on, each examinee picks up his trusty fuguhiki (fugu knife) and begins to cut, clean, and filet the fish, a task they must complete within 20 minutes. Many make mistakes, but the consequence of failure at Tsukiji, at worst, is best wishes for next year. In the real world, an average of two to three people per year pay the ultimate price for a wrong answer—almost all of them fishermen eating their own catch.