Sumary of A popular poison: Vietnamese researcher brings taste for Japan’s toxic fugu pufferfish home:
- Fugu is not commonly consumed in many other countries, but Vu Thuy Linh, a Vietnamese researcher at a university near Tokyo, hopes to cultivate the culinary art of the pufferfish in her Southeast Asian nation to create a bridge between the two countries.
- In Vietnam, a country with a long north-south coastline, about 60 species of fugu are believed to inhabit local waters, but national law has banned the sale and consumption of them since 2013, as a number of poisoning incidents have been reported due to unfamiliarity with how to handle the fish.
- The health ministry strictly states which parts — meat, skin and milt — are edible in each fugu species.
- Vu obtained a license in March 2021, having passed written and practical exams, including eliminating inedible organs containing the toxic tetrodotoxin without damaging them in the required 20 minutes.
- Vu, now a researcher at the Asian Nutrition and Food Culture Research Center at Jumonji University, conducted a survey in 2017 in Hanoi and Da Nang and asked a total of 107 participants, including Vietnamese government officials who had never eaten pufferfish before, to rate fugu dishes prepared by a Japanese chef.
- In the survey, fugu sashimi — thinly sliced raw fish — gained the highest score among all the fish dishes, although Vietnamese traditionally do not eat raw fish.