What Does Fugu Taste Like? Does Fugu Taste Good?

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “What Does Fugu Taste Like?“.

Fugu is a fish with a fascinating history. Japan has a reputation for delicacy when it comes to fugu fish. As sushi, it is delicious.

Nonetheless, it was later banned in response to the dangers associated with eating fish due to its high levels of toxic substances.

Don’t worry, though! In the modern-day, fugu chefs are specially trained and certified, so you can eat this dish without risking your life.

What does fugu taste like? This blog post will explain it all.

What is Fugu?

Let’s start from the beginning. The fugu fish can be found in the waters around Japan and is a type of pufferfish. Globefish and blowfish are also common names for this fish.

Japanese people have been eating fugu since the 17th century. The fact that fugu was served at a higher temperature than other seafood dishes made it especially popular with royalty and wealthy merchants.

Around the same time that sushi became increasingly common, the first fugu restaurants opened up.

Pufferfish are found in over 120 different species. The Higanfugu and Sh*saifugu are edible, while others have been banned because of their high levels of toxic substances (namely tetrodotoxin).

This highly poisonous fugu fish is also known as Takifugu rubripes or the tiger pufferfish.

Traditionally, it is served as sashimi, prepared by chefs who have undergone special training including undergoing a lengthy procedure known as “tsuke”.

In Japan or other countries where this dish is available, it takes at least ten years to become qualified enough to prepare it safely without causing harm to the cook.

Why is Fugu Dangerous?

The most common poison in fugu fish is tetrodotoxin, which paralyzes muscles and stops breathing.

Among the organs of a fugu fish where tetrodotoxin is found are the liver, ovaries, and intestines. According to some reports, it’s 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide.

There is no known antidote for the toxin found in pufferfish, and one pufferfish could kill 30 adults.

It is so powerful that even small amounts of this poison can be harmful. As a result of improper preparation, fugu poisoning has caused several deaths.

Consequently, you should only eat this dish if you can trust the chef to prepare it properly.

Has Anyone Died From Eating Fugu?

The fugu fish is so regional that it is difficult to find reliable statistics.

In Japan, fugu poisoning led to 11 deaths and 359 hospitalizations between 2005 and 2014. However, the numbers have decreased.

As a result of stricter regulations and the prohibition against catching fugu in inland waterways, fugu fishing is becoming less popular. Only a few restaurants serve this dish.

Japan now successfully farms fugu using modern farming techniques. There are now varieties that contain no toxins and are safe to eat. In fugu fish, bacteria appear to produce toxins.

How Much Does It Cost To Eat Fugu?

Formerly, fugu was only available to the wealthy, but now it’s available to everyone. There are several types of fugu to choose from, and the price ranges from $20-150 per dish.

Fuji-centered course meals can be found at several specialty restaurants. One full-course dinner typically costs between $90 and $300 on average. Also, you can get fugu for less than $20 at some Japanese restaurants.

How Long Does It Take For Fugu To Kill You?

A dose of fugu poison takes effect within about 10 minutes. It is common to serve the fish raw, so you may see the first symptoms before they become severe.

Numbness in the lips and mouth, difficulty speaking, dizziness, blurred vision, and nausea may be symptoms. In the absence of treatment, these symptoms can result in a coma and death within 24 hours.

Tetrodotoxin is lethal to humans at doses between 50 and 100 mg. It appears that fugu poisoning can be managed by moderation if you avoid eating the fugu’s ovaries, liver, and intestines.

What Does Fugu Taste Like? Does Fugu Taste Good?

The flesh of fugu fish is a bright, firm white that is low in fat. The fugu fish is characterized by its intensity. The flavor of the fish is subtle yet powerful, and it tastes like whitefish.

As with many types of seafood, it has delicate flavors, so you will not find it overpowering on the palate. The fugu delicacy is one of Japan’s most prized delicacies, and it’s not hard to understand why.

This subtle taste is part umami, the savory flavor we are familiar with from shoyu or miso soup, but there is also a sweetness that comes with the fish when chewed thoroughly.

Its texture varies greatly depending on how it is cooked. As raw sashimi, the fish is somewhat chewy and has a somewhat spongy texture. This white fish is firm and moist once cooked, with a similar texture to any other white fish.

How to Order Fugu at Restaurants

Ensure that the restaurants serving the dish are qualified to do so.

Before ordering it off their menu or asking the staff if they serve fugu dishes, ask if they have a license for serving the dish.

The waiter can explain how Fugu is prepared and any risks or side effects.

It might be a good idea to have someone else order it if you are unsure whether you know enough about the dish, particularly if you cannot communicate with the waiter.

Delicious Fugu Dishes That You Just Have to Try

Despite its popularity, few have tried fugu. A poisonous fish’s taste or texture isn’t the problem that scares diners away

Fugu’s following dishes will be sure to blow your mind if you are brave enough to try them:

1: Fugu sashimi

It is usually made from the main fillet of a fish and is the most popular way to serve fugu in Japan.

In addition to serving it as carpaccio style sashimi, it is garnished with extras such as flowers and daikon as well as ponzu sauce for added flavor.

2: Fugu Skin

Deep-fried fugu skin is served on a variety of dishes, from salads to grilled slices that can be dipped in sauces.

3: Fugu Hot Pot

You are in for a real treat if this is your first introduction to this dish.

It may seem odd to choose a dashi-based soup broth, but I prefer it. Various cuts from this fish are included in this dish, including the skin that adds both flavor and texture.

4: Fugu Kara-age

Soy sauce, ginger, and garlic are marinated with the fish to give it flavor. A potato starch coating is applied before it is deep-fried twice to create a crispy exterior.

This sauce is usually served alongside dipping sauces like chicken or tempura garage.

5: Fugu Tataki

It is also popular to eat fugu tataki. A hot skillet is used to sear the flesh of the fugu to perfection. The fish is then sliced thinly and topped with ponzu sauce.


In Japan, fugu fish is one of the most popular dishes. Because of its rarity, fugu has a complex preparation process and can therefore be an expensive and high-quality dish – only chefs with years of experience can prepare it properly.

If you would like to find some fugu at your local restaurant or sushi bar soon, please share this blog post on social media.

If you want to read more about cooking, read here: Cooking Tips and Tricks.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button