The Japanese like their fish fresh. They eat live octopus, which is served with a pair of scissors which are used to cut off the tentacles. The disadvantage of this is that the suckers still operate and they can stick to your tongue, which makes swallowing difficult.
Tonight I’m at a fish restaurant which has a stream running through it, which is teeming with sea bream. If you want, you can catch your own fish, which the restaurant will prepare the way you want it. I’m given a simple rod and line and some shrimp bait. Within a minute I’ve got a fish on the line. Its a good size and I ask the waitress to have half of it boiled and the other half served raw.
We are joined at dinner by Philip, his wife Yoko and their two young children. The eldest, Max, aged 5, has a go with the rod and proudly lands a fish. His father asks him how he would like to eat the fish. “Raw”, replies Max. Good chap. When the fish arrives at the table there are still signs of life in the head and fins, even though the flesh has been removed (as this video shows) The same applies with a lobster, which is brought to the table with its tentacles twitching, even though all the white flesh has been removed.
By the way, it’s absolutely delicious. Slow food at its finest.