Come face to face with deep sea creatures with Gachapon’s sushi toys!

Deep Sea 0

RocketNews 24:

Perhaps befitting an island nation surrounded by the ocean, Japan seems to have a fascination with deep sea creatures. One of our favorite deep ocean dwelling critters, the giant isopod, has made regular appearances on the Japanese Internet in various forms from toys to sausage snacks, and even as actual cooked food.

Other creatures of the deep such as the oarfish and the giant squid are also relatively popular here in Japan, possibly because much about them remains an elusive mystery. So it’s not entirely surprising that someone should come up with a series of gachapon toys featuring deep sea creatures. But these particular vending machine-dispensed trinkets that have recently been released from Japanese toy manufacturer Re-ment come with a  twist — they’re sushi-shaped and seriously bizarre-looking!

In case you were wondering, no, these particular deep sea creatures aren’t eaten as sushi in Japan, but the toys are being  presented in sushi form anyway — for fun, we guess. Let’s take a look at the six different toys in the series:

1. The Japanese pancake devilfish (mendako) sushi

Deep Sea 1

This creature is a close relative of the flapjack octopus, which is what the pink octopus Pearl that appeared in the movie Finding Nemo was. Unfortunately, these guys apparently don’t taste very good at all, so they’re not ideal sushi material.

2. The isopod (gusokumushi) sushi

Deep Sea 2

Yes, the ever popular isopod (gusokumushi) has also been turned into sushi. While they may not make a good sushi ingredient, isopods are apparently tasty enough when fried.

3. The oarfish (ryugu no tsukai) sushi

Deep Sea 3

The oarfish, with its long, unusual appearance, has long been a source of fascination for the Japanese. Its Japanese name, ryugu no tsukai, means “messenger of the Dragon Palace”, in reference to the castle of the dragon sea god in Japanese legend, and we have to say it’s an unusually poetic name for a fish. While certainly not a common find, just last year, we saw a Japanese Twitter user share his experience of cooking and eating an oarfish that was found  washed up on shore.

4. The Atlantic footballfish (chouchin anko) sushi

Deep Sea 4

Although this specific species is not consumed in Japan, some of their close relatives known as anglerfish or monkfish (anko) are eaten, and their liver (ankimo) in particular is considered a delicacy.

5. The blobfish sushi

Deep Sea 5

This blobfish sushi has to be our favorite in the series! The sad-looking fish found off the coasts of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand has the unfortunate distinction of having been voted the world’s ugliest animal.

6. The pumpkin sea star (Astrosarkus idipi) sushi

Deep Sea 6

Called by the fancy name ryugu sakura hitode in Japanese,  which means “dragon palace cherry blossom sea star,”  only a few specimens of this sea star have ever been collected, and much about them is still unknown. They’re quite large, growing to about 30 centimeters  (1 foot) in diameter.

So, there you have Re-ment’s collection of deep ocean creatures in sushi form as gachapon toys. Do you think they’re creepy or cute? Well, maybe they’re both, as some Japanese people are calling them kimo-kawaii, a combination of the Japanese words for “gross” and “cute”.

You can buy these unique toys from a regular gachapon vending machine for 300 yen a pop, but if you’re really into deep sea fauna, you can get the entire collection of six for 1,700 yen (US$14.14) from Rakuten’s Kids Room online shop.

The complete set even comes with a miniature plate of soy sauce which we think is a cute touch, and they ship overseas too. If you’re a fan of sushi and you like your toys quirky, then these unique sushi figures may be exactly what you want!



Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways

RocketNews 24:


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!

Source: Twitter via Itai News (Japanese)

Check out this link: 

Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways