Shiki is Seattle’s only restaurant with a fugu license (and in fact, one of only seventeen in the United States — twelve of which are in New York City), but I’d always thought you needed to give them advance notice and it didn’t really matter since everything else on the menu is so good — not much for those seeking fusiony new age rolls but plenty for the purist, with large and oh-so-fresh slabs of melt-in-your-mouth hamachi and toro and salmon — but today’s list of specials included both fugu kara-age and fugu nigiri, and what’s a little risk of death by poison in the name of culinary adventure?

[Fugu nigiri]

Loved the texture of the flesh, which was somewhere between firm fish and clam, something to linger on and really get to know. I can’t really say how much of the flavor was fugu and how much was from the dressing (which was ponzu-like, tataki-style), but all combined it was really yummy.

That’s yubiki (fugu skin salad) garnishing the plate, which was very much like tiny pieces of squid or octopus — also v. tasty!

Honestly, though, I’m generally squeamish about taking risks and was a little bit timid about the whole thing. So there’s a twinge of disappointment that I liked it so much, since I’ll probably crave it again when I go again. Time to get poison control in my phone’s memory, I guess!

Apparently fugu season will be shorter than usual this year due to typhoons, so if you want to try some at Shiki you’d probably better hurry. But you really can’t go wrong with the safe stuff either.

Also: little fried swamp crabs!


Update: for those curious about prices: fugu nigiri was $16 for two healthy-sized pieces, and the kara-age $35 — but figured, as long as I’m going to risk an exciting death in the name of experimentation, it wouldn’t be a breaded and deep-fried one!
As for death-by-fugu, I’m still breathing, though a night of pleasant, warm tingling and slightly worrisome, but possibly imagined twingeing, I can see how fugu can be addictive (but scary!) stuff.

Confidential to Kallie, remember: a little white truffle oil goes a long way. I used a splash in my melted butter when I grilled the sandwiches. Yum!

  • estel

    Does anyone know of a restaurant in NYC that serves Fugu? I tried Morimoto, but it's no longer on the menu.

  • Oh wow! I don't know if I'd be courageous enough to try that! I'm really impressed! ^^ I love your foodblogging.

    Also, the little crabs just look kinda scary. I dunno if I'd be able to eat them either. >

  • Kallese

    I'm so glad you survived! Do you have crabshell bits stuck in your teeth now? I need more culinary adventures. :\

    Thanks for the added tip about truffle oil.

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