Dancing squid bowl fish: Strange Japanese foods you may never want to eat

Heading to Japan? here's a definitive guide of what not to eat unless you are Anthony Bourdain, or well paid for it.

1. Dancing squid bowl dish

In case you are wondering, we are not quite comfortable with this either.

Soy sauce has some pretty magical powers when it comes to bringing a dish to life, but we never realised just how powerful it was.

Sadly, or perhaps, happily, the dancing squid is no longer alive. It's not a zombie, life reignited as the sauce is emptied into its once active brain; and it is definitely not dancing.

The magic ingredient from the soy is salt, which triggers muscle spasms, making the squid appear to dance. 

If your squid ain't dancing, then it ain't very fresh; key to eliciting this lively response.
And it still tastes like squid - so if you like it raw, think of it as bonus show with dinner. And don't forget to Instagram the life out of it.

2. Natto

Unfortunately, that is not delicious mozzarella cheese smothering those beans. They've been fermented to produce a coating that bears an uncanny resemblance to saliva. The beans are usually accompanied with soy sauce, karashi mustard, Japanese bunching onion (!) and an incredibly potent odour. Apparently, it makes for a delicious breakfastfoods in Japan. We are not convinced.


Natto with Shio-kombu. ほぼニホンゴ。 #natto #japanesefood

A photo posted by Sasaki Yosuke (@sasaki_yosuke) on

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3. Shirako

Meaning 'white children' and resembling a teeny tiny fleshy white brain, Shirako is in actual fact the sperm sacs of male cod fish. Yes, you read that correctly: fish jizz. If you can get past these two things, then it's reportedly a buttery, creamy delicious accompaniment - best served cold, like revenge. Or, you could heat it to the consistency of custard, and ruin that childhood comfort food forever.

#Shirako...an acquired taste. But not bad with ponzu and Shiso. #Tokyo

A photo posted by dominiqueansel (@dominiqueansel) on

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4. Nankotsu

Make your night at a Japanese bar actually one you'll remember with these delicious sticks of chicken cartilage. Crunchy chicken bone is packed with collagen and other nutrients which makes it very healthy, if it wasn't for the fact it is generally deep fried and and served with beer.