How fresh would you like your food? Ikizukuri is fish, killed minutes before reaching your plate. Many restaurants practice this style of non-cooking all over Japan. So if you come to a restaurant and see the classic fish tank at the entrance, most likely, you'll be able to eat that.
Ikizukuri can be prepared from all sorts of species of fish. I've eaten shrimp, lobster, squid, and flatfish.
If you do ask for ikizukuri, you'll most likely be able to eat your fill of sashimi. Afterwards, they can prepare the same meat on sushi, and even fry the bones to a crispy potato chip texture and boil the leftovers into a delicious nabe soup.
But this dish is especially controversial because it usually moves on your plate, much like an agitated zombie.
How is this possible? This fish is dead, but it's moving, but it's dead! Is it dead? Well of course it is. When the fish is caught, its killed, otherwise it would be nearly impossible to filet the fish. If you want to try something that is actually alive, try going to Korea. The movement that you see is simply the nerve endings reacting to its environment. Its just like the movement when a spider loses a leg, a cockroach gets half crushed, a lizard loses its tail fleeing from an enemy, or a chicken running around with its head cut off.
For squid, the brain is severed and the meat is cut and arranged into its original form. The meat is so fresh it's transparent, because it's served as soon as possible. It's actually a quite enjoyable experience, if you ignore the tentacles and eyes moving around in front of you.
If you do order this dish, and you are disappointed about the lack of movement, try some soy sauce.
Would you like to see this happen without actually experiencing it yourself? Check out the videos below!
Ika no Ikizukuri イカの活き造り
A common dish around many restaurants in Japan. This one was in Tokyo.
Hirame no Ikizukuri 平目の活き造り
This is one of my first videos ever. Done when I was still doing videos with an iphone, but its popular so here you go. Found in Yokosuka
I go around and find the weirdest, coolest, strangest, most interesting things in my area. I frequent Tokyo, Yokohama, and Yokosuka.