Aloha Fukuoka! Fugu lunch at Yanagibashi Market

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I love traveling with Val. She and I go at the same pace, and eat the same way. Leave it to Val to find out that Fukuoka is known for serving up fugu — also known as puffer fish — that famously dangerous sashimi. If it’s not cleaned and sliced properly, the poison in the fish can kill you. So of course, Val didn’t just suggest we eat fugu; my normally mellow friend insisted we needed to have it.

Although there are many restaurants in Fukuoka that serve fugu, one of the best places to get it is at the freshest source: the market. Yanagibashi Market is out of the way, but quick to get to even by foot, so I highly recommend you put this on your itinerary as it won’t take up a huge chunk of your day. Most chefs in town come here to get the fish for their restaurants because of the quality and freshness. What’s good enough for Fukuoka chefs, is good enough for us!

Aloha Fukuoka! Yanagibashi Market

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If you get the chance, head to Yanagibashi Market. It's an open market for seafood, and is where most, if not all, of the chefs in town go to get their ingredients.

Despite being the only restaurant in Yanagibashi Market, the fugu restaurant is easy to miss. If you go, look for the red lantern or ask for the stall called Yoshida. Here’s how our fugu lunch went:

Aloha Fukuoka! Fugu for lunch

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Little-known fact: Fukuoka is known for serving fugu. We saw cute little restaurants around the city with a drawing of the puffer fish outside, signifying that they serve it, but we wanted it from the fish market.

At the end, Val and I looked at each other and agreed that we were glad to have tried it, but once was enough. Best of all, we survived!

20 comments
jlieu
jlieu

How do Japanese ppl stay so small when there is so much yummy food?! WTF

M
M

Is there free wifi in most areas?

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

i'm glad u got to try fugu. but that toro sushi w/ the rainbow of fatty colors is what i wd have killed for.

HuyVo
HuyVo

The whale meat looks like char siu. Knowing me, I probably would have taken it home without trying to read the sign and add it to my saimin :)

sugi_84
sugi_84

market:

picture 10: gills maybe?

picture 11: top shell?

russkar
russkar

Of course most Fugu is Farm-raised in Japan nowadays exclusive of the toxins and can be rather bland. 

The last time we had "wild" fugu was at Urasawa in Beverly Hills about 10 yrs ago. 

He quit getting it because customs kept seizing it. 

His preparations consisted of Sashimi which made your tongue and fingers tingle and was very flavorful unlike the recent Japan experience. 

Fried and last but not least Fugu Sperm Sack Risotto which was really good but unusual just the same. 

Followed by O-Toro with Gold Flake and Beluga Caviar on top. 

Chef_Jay
Chef_Jay

Fugu isn't one of the tastiest fish out there and a bit chewy, but it is one of those things you'd do once. 

M
M

My last trip to Japan was 2 years ago and reading and seeing your pixs made me miss Japan. I'm calling my travel agent today.

M
M

Hello Melissa,

I ate Fugu when I went to Hiroshima. Like you said, really no taste and made my tongue tingle.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @jlieu lots of walking, I think! And I think the thrill is not as big for them as it is for us!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @M unfortunately, no. I need to find the article but someone wrote about how there's not a lot of public wifi because most people carry their own. So Cat & I rented our own pocket wifi — hers was from Japan, mine was from a company based in LA (for international use) — and both devices were slow. Mine was slower than hers, though. 

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @sugi_84 Ah! you are right about the top shell. wait, lemme to back and look at the gills one....

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @russkar Fugu sperm sack risotto!!!!! OMG! I'll have that next time.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @M Awww! I know what you mean. It's easy to miss Japan. I want to go back already!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @M I don't know if anyone ever says it's delicious, but I guess you do it so you can take that risk...? Well, glad we got to try it!