BY: TED BARNABY
Ying Yang fish and Ikizukuri are delicacies in China and Japan, respectively. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood and feeling adventurous, these dishes are guaranteed to be the freshest seafood you’ve ever eaten. And I’m not talking Wendy’s “never been frozen” meat fresh. I’m talking shows-up-on-your-plate-still-alive fresh. Unfortunately, I’m not exaggerating.
This expert method of preparation gives you the privilege of looking right into your delicacies sad and horrified eyes so that the last thing it sees before slipping into fishy-heaven is you, shovelling its sauce-smothered meat into your salivating jowls. If the mood strikes, you may even want to let out a nice and long, “MUAHAHAHAHA.”
The meal is prepared by holding a fish by its mouth and dipping its lower half into a vat of hot oil. Once the fish is cooked to an edible degree, it gets smothered in sweet-and-sour sauce and served.
Of course, this isn’t a universal dish in China or Japan. Many, if not most chefs, have dismissed the practice to be both unhealthy and inhumane. Not to mention the uproar from animal-rights activists that makes it near impossible for any restaurant to serve this dish without being publicly condemned. Still, somehow, the tradition lives on.
The policing western world caught air of this bizarre practice from a viral video in 2009, and the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (better known as PETA), has been up the ass of Ying Yang and Ikizukuri fish chefs everywhere, ever since. But before you hop on the judgment bandwagon, perhaps we should take a moment to consider the wise words of a Chinese official, who points to Western traditions like bullfighting and fox hunting for a cultural comparison.
How does eating live fish hold up against the merciless slaughter of—according to PETA—approximately 10,000 innocent bulls a year before a cheering crowd? Or killing rural foxes for sport, stacking the poor red bastards against an army of hounds and men on horseback?
Clearly, things are a little fucked all over. Maybe it’s about time we revise our strategy: take the damn porpoises out of their isolation tanks, free the bulls from their death-coliseums, and quit shitting on the rest of the animal kingdom in general. Most of us understand that plunging a living being in boiling oil, stabbing a fork into its smoldering flesh and then biting a chunk out of its gasping-for-air chest is an endeavor that is more than just a little morally questionable. Ikizukuri and Ying Yang fish fanatics—otherwise known as sick fucks—I present you with the wise words of Dory:
“Fish are friends, not food.”