Every once in a while the Japanese media picks up on the story of an extremely long deep sea fish that washes up on its shores. Called an “oarfish,” it is long believed to be a harbinger of earthquakes.
But for one Twitter user it was a harbinger of an impressive four course meal. While out before sunrise, he stumbled along one of these allegedly supernatural fish washed up on shore. After contacting several marine institutes and finding none to claim the large fish, he tossed superstitions aside and acted on the belief that when life hands you an oarfish, you make oarfish fillets.
According to a series of tweets chronicling the find and subsequent gourmet experiment, Twitter user Yamasemi measured the fish at 4.2m (13’7″) and still fresh when found. He got to work and removed the tail sections which revealed a jelly-like cartilage that was remarkably clean and white.
Although that didn’t seem edible, there were still a few good meters of fish to be had. First, Yamasemi prepared some amazingly white fillets of oarfish meat with a mild soup on the side. He said that the meat had an egg-white texture to it, but also had a bit of a strong flavor that might be off-putting to some. However, he also remarked that it had a sweetness to it similar to cod and was highly delicious overall.
Next, Yamasemi tried to fry up some pieces of oarfish with butter. He said that due to the highly moist meat it toughened up very quickly when fried or boiled. This method of cooking gave it a firmer, more substantial texture than it had with the soup. He thought it was really good, but maybe it was just because he was the one doing the cooking.
However, all of this was just a harbinger of the earthshaking deliciousness of the oarfish’s heart. According to Yamasemi, this was easily the best part. He said that it had a limp texture but with some rinsing in hot water it firmed up nicely.
As you can see in the above image, the heart has three sections. Yamasemi says that each section has a unique texture to it for a delightful dining experience. The lightest-colored part was like cow intestines while the large part tasted like chicken heart.
Still basking in the glow of the oarfish heart, Yamasemi then prepared its liver by boiling it in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and sake for 15 minutes. Then it was served with some green onion and grated daikon doused in citrusy ponzu.
Many netizens who saw this expressed concern that little is still known about the oarfish and a potential for poison or parasites in the meat exists. However, as of this writing, Yamasemi still appears to be alive and tweeting.
Others harkened back to the superstitious past of the oarfish saying “that thing looks cursed.” While one comment thought of a more real menace writing, “I can hear the Sea Shepherd’s engines starting up right now.”
I’m going to go out on an old-school limb and say that by eating the heart of the oarfish, Yamasemi will have taken its legendary power of earthquake prediction. So beware people of the world: If you happen to find a dead Japanese Twitter user washed up on a beach near you, it’s time to get your disaster kits ready!
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