Eating dancing squid

This week I was invited to a delicious and unforgettable fish dinner by my Japanese food comp colleagues from MEXT. MEXT is the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the host of the Japanese Food Composition Database. They just recently published easy accesible English PDFs of their database. I like!!

141123_MEXTWe went to this restaurant specialised in fish and above all squid. The whole restaurant centers around this pool filled with squids. We had a table to the right side of it.


IMG_3267Look, even the chop stick holder (sorry I don’t know how to call it. It’s where you can put your sticks when taking a break from eating) is a squid.

IMG_3259The food was pre-ordered. So we were just sitting there and they were starting to pile dishes on our table. With every new dish arriving, we had to rearrange the table to find space. Here some pics.

First, a wonderfully arranged platter of sashimi. All fish was very fresh being brought in from the ocean the same morning. The waiter explained what we got and my table neighbour translated for me, but I cannot recall the fish names anymore. Sorry. I only remember that the white pieces in the right corner were scallops (Jakobsmuscheln, Coquille Saint-Jacques). The yellow squares are egg omelettes. The only non marine food, apart from the sauces, perilla leaves and radish we had that evening.

To my relief, head and tail were only decoration :-)

IMG_3249Then, different platters of tempura made from squid, fish and oysters. Each coming with an individual dipping sauce. On the pic you can just see the squids.

IMG_3253Then, at some later point, they brought a clam soup.


And now to the main attraction. At one point after having served the sashimi platter the waiter came to our table. He had a living squid in the hand and showed it to us. He then left and a few minutes later we got the very squid prepared as sashimi as you can see on the picture below. Probably to prove that it was very fresh (or to shock the foreigner sitting at the table…) the waiter then poured some sauce over the squid’s head – it looked like soy sauce – and the arms of the squid started moving as though it was still alive! Well, I hope that wasn’t the case and that it was just muscle contractions….!! But make your own opinion: Wikipedia, Dancing squid dish, Scientific American.

IMG_3252 Anyway and I apologize in advance for shocking my vegetarian friends, the squid sashimi was delicious! After we had eaten all stripes, they took the head, cooked and prepared it and served it again. Yummy. I will never forget this dinner!!!

For drinks all Japanese had beer to start with. As I don’t really like beer I had a glass of plum wine. And later we all drank sake. Not only filled to the brim…. It was a cloudy (unfiltered) and lightly sweetish sake. Very nice!


The evening was a great experience. Thank you Ryoko!!

3 thoughts on “Eating dancing squid

  1. great! hab grad heimweh nach japan. werde nun im mai hinreisen. dann seid ihr schon wieder in der ch, oder? liebergruss nicole h.


    • hab ab und zu an dich gedacht und mich gefragt, ob du wohl pl√∂tzlich an weihnachten auftauchst :-) im mai sind wir leider nicht mehr hier. die zeit fliegt. uns bleiben nur noch 2 monate… liebgruss esther


  2. Pingback: Tofu Academy – Esther goes East

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