Here in America, we have taken a Japanese tradition – sushi – turned it inside out and needlessly complicated it. The result is a rainbow of colors and a laundry list of crazy ingredients in nearly every sushi roll we serve.
Despite the popularity of sushi in America, there are still some types of sushi in Japan that an American might classify as “weird Japanese food”. These more exotic sushi dishes offer an opportunity for the more adventurous among us to experience new and exciting flavors and textures.
Otherwise known as pufferfish here in the U.S., Fugu has earned a reputation as a dangerous, but exhilarating choice. The flavor of the fish itself is somewhat mild, but the lethal poison hidden within this fish is what makes it such a daring choice. Typically fugu is sliced ultra-thin to keep it below the toxic level.
In America, everything moves fast, including our sushi. That is why we don’t have the opportunity to enjoy something as different as Funazushi. This is a special sushi dish created by allowing fish to ferment in vinegar for several years. As can be expected, this dish has a very strong flavor.
Similar in texture to squid or octopus, jellyfish is a delicacy served in Japan. Due to the difficulty in drying and preparing jellyfish correctly, it’s not surprising we leave this one to the experts. Also, jellyfish doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so it is usually paired with a strong vinegar sauce to enhance the experience.
Made from the creamy insides of sea urchins, Uni is a specialty dish served throughout Japan. It takes great care to handle a sea urchin properly and avoid getting injured by its spines. Once you open the external shell, the innards are scooped out and served raw. This process is quite labor intensive and it takes a lot of sea urchins to create a complete dish.
If you are an adventurer in the realm of food, there are some pretty strange (to Americans, at least) Japanese food choices out there. You may just have to travel around the world to experience them for yourself!
Fortunately, there is Matsuhisa, which offers flavorful and creative sushi dishes for you to enjoy right here at home in the USA.