Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 3 Episode 13


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 09, 2008 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Andrew has headed to the Far East and landed in Tokyo, calling it the food capitol of the world after Paris and New York City. He heads to the Tsuki Market which has 500 varieties of fish including eel, blue fish tuna, pomfret, squid and sea squirts. Some of the eels are even eaten raw. Joined by Mayu Takenouchi of the Hachikari Cooking School, they discover puffer fish and stonefish, which are usually poisonous unless prepared properly. The stonefish are also turned into sashimi once the spines are removed. Andrew observes eel fillet being prepared and sea squirt sliced into dishes and served raw in a local eatery. Wine is served with eyeballs from a blue fin.
Andrew revisits some getemono bars as he did in his first episode (Asia). Some of these bars over specialize in one ingredient. At the Mayokici or Mayonnaise Kitchen, Andrew experiences mayonnaise fondue, baked potato with mayonnaise, sausage with ground up cartilage and mayonnaise and, possibly the least favorable, a mayonnaise shake! He's then off to visit Nobu Matsushisa, a Japanese chef who shows Andrew dishes made from the octopus egg sack, sea cucumber egg jerky and fresh turtle blood. On the way to his hotel, Andrew tries octopus ice cream calling it more like a seafood yogurt. He also discovers pit viper ice cream and beef tongue ice cream, amused by the tastes of them.
In Osaka, Andrew meets bar owner Jimmy Shimoda and they visit food shacks for horuman, stick dishes made from the throwaway parts of animals such as uterus, esophagus, intestine and the windpipe of pigs. It is now a delicacy. Watanabe Yufumi, a food blogger, and Mana Kumagai, a food promoter, also join Andrew. They experience octopus in wheat balls called takoyakai, which are eaten by toothpicks and very hot from a fryer. At the Koshin Restaurant, they have both beer and sake with more takoyari, matsutake (mushrooms) and horsemeat in ginger and soy sauce.
Onward to Lake Biwa, home of the funa carp, Andrew ends up in the Kitashina Restaurant to meet gourmand Tosho Hamaoka and Ataushi Kitamuna, whose family has been turning funa carp into funasushi since 1619. It's a dish where the funa is mixed with rice and vinegar for one to four years to age, dried for three hours in the sun then aged back in a barrel for another year. It is one of the dishes that take the longest time to prepare. The preparation has been handed down for several hundred years, and Andrew says it has a stink to peel paint off walls.
Andrew is soon off to Okinawa, a very old city conquered by the Japanese in the 1500s. He meets Minaki and Issa Cohen of for some Ryuku cuisine in the form of the goya fruit, a bitter fruit. This dish is believed to be responsible for helping the Japanese live to be 100 years old. Joined by Mitsuki Tamaki, Minaki's mother, they teach Andrew some of their cooking practices such as stir frying goya and creating a handmade squid soup in its own ink. They also have giant tuna eye balls in a broth of spices and vegetables.
Minaki Cohen also takes Andrew to visit the busiest market in Naha City. They discover parrotfish, clown fish, warm and cold-water lobster and sea snake. Andrew is introduced to yako-gai, a giant sea snail which lives close to shore. Close to the market are several restaurants for Andrew to sample yako-gai as a dish, but along the way he also gets to try sea snake, goat testicles which are supposed to be good for male virility along with fried bugs as an extra taste treat.
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