Japan's Deadly Pufferfish

Discover how professional chefs in Japan carefully prepare this poisonous fish at restaurants.
  • 1There are about 3,000 restaurants specializing in fugu in Tokyo today.
  • 2From the outside, they're usually easy to recognize and they're always highly specialized.
  • 3One of them is Rikizo Okamoto's restaurant...
  • 4...where sometimes even prime ministers drop by.
  • 5Uosei is its name, the pure fish place.
  • 6You also need a license to prepare fugu.
  • 7The poison in fugu is tetrodotoxin.
  • 8It's 1,000 times more potent than cyanide and there is no antidote.
  • 9The poison paralyzes its victims but leaves them fully conscious.
  • 10Proper preparation is critical: the skin and entrails of the fish are poisonous...
  • 11...and they must not contaminate the nontoxic meat on the muscles.
  • 12A real fugu meal consists of at least six courses.
  • 13This ultimate in gourmet pleasures is mainly enjoyed in Japan...
  • 14...when there is something to celebrate.
  • 15Nowadays, the chances of being poisoned at a fugu restaurant are practically zero...
  • 16...thanks to the high demands placed on the chefs.