Ikizukuri (or ikitsukuri or iketsukuri) is a controversial Japanese method of preparing raw fish for consumption in which the fish (or other marine animal) is filleted and prepared alive, its carcass then put on display for the consumer to witness while eating.
Last weekend I saw a truly awesome display of ikizukuri in a cafeteria-style restaurant run by a fishing coopeartive, and posted the photos, along with a discussion of the morality behind the practice, at mutantfrog, where I occasionally contribute posts regarding Japan topics. You can read that post here. I’d encourage readers to engage in the discussion in the comments section in that post — but for those who just want to see the gore, my photos are posted below…
First there’s this Ise Ebi, a lobster-esque shrimp, served up with the tail as sashimi.
The creature’s arms were still clearly twitching…
Once we finished eating the meat from the tail, the waiter took the plate back to the kitchen and returned moments later with the shrimp’s head in a pot of soup.
Then we’ve got a fish that has been filleted and fried whole. (Not ikizukuri, but it was prepared in the same theme as meeting the animal behind your meet.)
Then we’ve got a hirame flounder, with its gills still flapping and appearing to be breathing. While it’s common to serve aji, the smaller makerel, in this manner, such as previously shown on this blog back in 2005, this was the first time I saw a fish as large as a flounder skewered (and still breathing) with its body served before us on a plate.
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