I serve this fish knowing that your life is in my hands, so I have to do it with extreme care. The dish is absolutely safe to eat.
As a young child, the question of how it was that the tetrodotoxin-laced puffer fish came to be seen as such a (dangerous) delicacy fascinated me. "How exactly did folks managed to figure out which parts were edible," I wondered, "and which were not?" More pressingly, did they get it right the first time, miraculously? And if not, how (or WHY) did they keep on trying?
I have carried this (morbid) fascination with me from my childhood all the way up to this present day. Which means that this Great Big Story video is still absolutely in my wheelhouse. (Also, it instantly reminded me of Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Which is a fantastic documentary, and currently streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT.)
To eat fugu is to put your life on the line. That's why Japanese chefs must train for years before serving the notoriously poison puffer fish to the public. For more than 45 years, chef Sasaki has served this potentially lethal delicacy to patrons in his Tokyo restaurant. Feeling hungry?