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The blowfish's bad rap is just killing him

April 1, 2009 |  1:25 pm

Blowfish Reporting from Tokyo -- Veteran chef Yutaka Sasaki has a plan to remove the fear of eating one of the most poisonous fish on the planet: He wants to feed it to the emperor.

The blowfish, known here as fugu, carries a deadly neurotoxin with no known antidote.

An average-sized fugu is chock-full of the poison tetrodotoxin -- in its blood, liver and even its sex organs, Sasaki says.

But he scoffs at the centuries-old ban on the Japanese monarch eating the delicacy, sought after by many Japanese as daring cuisine.

"The prince and other royalty have eaten fugu, so why not the emperor?" he says. "It would set a good example."

After all, he argues, it's only deadly in the wrong hands. "Someone who tries to prepare meals they know nothing about is stupid," says Sasaki, 61. "If you're a chef and you don't know this fish, you shouldn't even touch it." Read more here.

Photo: John M. Glionna / Los Angeles Times