See first hand the incredibly intricate art of one of the culinary world's most daring and delicious delicacies. Tora fugu (tiger pufferfish) is an incredibly poisonous fish with dazzling white and delicious sashimi that is a highly prized ingredient regarded as one of the most prized fish in Japan.
Not to be mistaken with other species of fugu, this pufferfish has rich umami flavor and a structured texture that is quite unique from most fugu that are largely flavorless and primarily served as karage or in hotpot cooking.
These distinct qualities and its beautiful pure white colors make tora fugu a perfect sashimi to craft beautiful works of art such as the crane pictured above.
This experience is led by Chef Suda, a veteran fugu chef with over 19 years of experience who has won national acclaim for his artwork with this wonderful fish.
Experience at A Glance:
See freshly caught tora fugu prepared from start to finish.
Learn about this refined art and the deep meaning that its risks traditionally held.
See Chef Suda plate his signature fugu dish in the shape of an elegant crane.
Enjoy a delicious fugu meal together.
Note that the portion of fugu is adjusted to the number of people.
Event Date(s) Year Round, See Below
Activity Length Approximately 2 hours
Venue The Kamo Aquarium
Price 12,000 yen / Person
This demonstration takes place in Okimizuki, a very unique Japanese restaurant that is actually located inside of the Kamo Aquarium on the coast of Tsuruoka City.
Tora fugu is a native species of puffer to this region and is almost exclusively caught off the coast here.
This is in sharp contrast to the fugu market in Japan that is primarily made up of farm raised pufferfish.
Tora fugu is further the highest grade of fugu in Japan and a single fish can cost upwards to $500.
We will start our experience inside Chef Suda's restaurant where he will show the fugu he will prepare and his personal collection of knives that are specifically made for preparing fugu. Some of these knives are worth over $1,500 and have been specially crafted according to the height and hand size of Chef Suda.
A surprisingly large amount of fugu has high concentrations of toxins that must be removed with great precision. Chef Suda will first remove these from the pufferfish as he breaks apart its bony body and lay it out on a dish for everyone to see.
He will then extract the meat of the fugu and prepare to plate it into his signature dish where he arranges fugu into a beautiful work of art.
Do not be nervous about eating fugu. Licensed fugu chefs must undergo over 3 years of intensive training to prepare this fish and are many have spent a lifetime working with these fish. Despite what many food magazines may say, eating fugu from licensed chefs in Japan is actually not a daring experience.
Few places in Japan offer you the chance to see this process of the preparation in person and we hope you will enjoy your time with Chef Suda and learning about the historical legacy of one of Japan's most unique dishes.
About Chef Takeshi Suda
This workshop is led by Chef Suda, the head chef of Okimizuki and one of the top chefs of Yamagata Prefecture.
He is a master washoku chef who has placed 4th in the Japan National Skills Grand Prix in 2017 and 2019 for his stunning plating of Japanese flounder.
Chef Suda has also represented Yamagata Prefecture abroad in Europe and America for culinary demonstrations and lessons.
Chef Suda has a passion for revitalizing the Shonai Region with international tourism and has created these programs at these prices for the purpose of helping to jump start a thriving tourism industry for this region.
Reservations and Important Notes
-This experience is available year-round.
-This experience is available to all-ages.
-The prices of this experience vary according the market price of fugu.
-Please send us a reservation inquiry for availability.
Please let us and others know what you thought of this experience!