I don’t often eat things that could possibly kill me… so when I received a special order of blowfish or puffer fish tails last weekend, I didn’t quite understand the concern it garnered from my friends. When I called best friend GTR excited about this new cooking feat, she replied, “Aren’t they poisonous?!”
And to be fair, puffer fish are often poisonous and lethal to humans…. In fact, they are believed to be the second-most poisonous vertebrates in the world. And their poison is believed to be in their liver and sometimes skin and from what I’ve read it’s not a pleasant way to go… And yet, they are a delicacy in many Asians countries and people eat them regardless.. either hoping not to die or to feel the slight “high” they supposedly can induce (a little light headedness and tingly sensation in the lips).
**If you want to learn more, cause let’s be honest it’s kind of cool (minus the death aspect and all), here’s a great article with more information.
In addition to its poison as a characteristic against predators, its stomach is extremely elastic and can fill with water and as so in addition to its pointed spines, it can basically turn into a deadly balloon.
BTW, after reading A LOT about pufferfish I couldn’t help remembering this Finding Nemo clip… (and there’s a Simpsons episode I remember where Homer eats one!).
Though, I feel like blowfish aren’t actually as cool looking in real life (especially if from Long Island vs. the Pacific).
But anyway, worry not, good friends, there was definitely nothing to fear from these non-poisonous Long Island blowfish tails. Plus, I’ve eaten them and still alive so I guess that’s something!
I decided to pan fry these tails and served with a little homemade tarter sauce. They are often referred to as chicken of the sea as their flavor is quite mild. They definitely were… they were great fried and crispy and their spine running down the tail made them a little like drumsticks.
Even though I wasn’t living on the edge by any means sampling blowfish tails for the first time, it was definitely an interesting experience and I’m glad I had the opportunity. Another fish checked off my bucket list! But, while they’re certainly delicious, I might have had more fun researching pufferfish than actually eating these tails…
Now, do yourself a favor and go watch Youtube videos of Japanese chefs cutting these fish (or fugu), it is incredible!