A great deal of you may already know about the customs of eating live food but for the rest of you:
I must warn you that if you have a weak stomach, or you are a vegetarian or just plain disgusted of even the thought of eating anything alive - I suggest you stop reading and go find something else on this blog to read because I for one could barely make this post, lol, since I'm so used to the western way of eating, you know, making sure it's good and dead before cooking and eating it. But as usual, since I'm so darn curious and is always interested in all aspects of cultures from around the world, I just had to add this!
Now, scientists claim the live fishes served feel no pain, but I've always wondered how they tested that theory... were they a fish once and lived to tell about it? Or was it because the fish didn't squeal like a banshee as they were being eaten alive? Anyways...
Us westerners 'distance' ourselves from our food sources a great deal. So much so that most of us don't even have a clue as to how the meats that eventually end up on the shelves of our local supermarkets came to be.
In all fairness, Japanese tradition holds that we should be grateful to the animals who gives us sustenance, and to acknowledge our relationship to them. Whether I agree with this ideology or not is really irrelevant (even though I'm still not sure how eating them alive acknowleges this), but showing respect to the way certain cultures do certain things is what it's all about. After all, I'm sure some of them are just as grossed out about our 'Big Macs' and 'Whopper' burgers and mcnuggets and God only knows what else.
I don't know if I can really eat food that stares right back at me, or twitches or flaps around.. I don't know. Maybe if I try not to make eye contact or something... As long as they don't start with cows or pigs.... I think I'll be ok...
In Japanese cuisine, ikizukuri or ikezukuri (生き作り/活け造り, “prepared alive”) is the preparation of sashimi from a living sea animal such as fish, shrimp, lobster and octopus.
Ikizukuri usually begins with the customer selecting from a tank in the restaurant, the animal they wish to eat. The chef, who is often a sashimi chef takes the animal out of the tank and filets it, but without killing the animal, which is served on a plate, sliced, with the heart still beating. Other variants of ikizukuri involve temporarily returning a filleted fish to an aquarium, to swim around until recovered for a second course of soup.
Ikizukuri of fish consists of thin, sheet-like slices or finger-sized pieces sometimes garnished with lemon wedges, a decoration of ginger, or nori (seaweed). Squid and small octopus are usually wrapped around a chopstick and eaten whole.
Ikizukuri is a controversial method of preparing food, both in Japan and elsewhere.
Typically ikizukuri style is used with fish like carp or snapper, octopus, squid, lobster or shrimp. This is a very old technique, at least 2000 years old, first brought to the West a decade ago by Nobu Matsuhisa.
When restaurants in the West started serving it, ikezukuri experienced an inevitable backlash from animal rights groups. After a Japanese chef demonstrated the technique on a Los Angeles television station, he received hundreds of angry calls, including death threats.
Drunken shrimp is a popular dish in portions of China based on fresh-water shrimp that are often eaten alive, but stunned in a strong liquor—baijiu (白酒)—to make consumption easier. Different parts of China have different recipes for it. For example, the shrimp are sometimes made drunk and then cooked in boiling water rather than served live, and in other recipes cooked shrimp are marinated in alcohol after they are boiled.
It involves serving LIVE shrimp doused in that strong Chinese liquor, baijiu.
Sannakji or sannakji hoe is a variety of hoe, or raw dish, in Korean cuisine. It consists of live nakji (hangul: 낙지, a small octopus) that has been cut into small pieces and served immediately, usually lightly seasoned with sesame and sesame oil. The nakji pieces are usually still squirming on the plate. It can also be served whole.
Because the suction cups on the arm pieces are still active when the dish is served, special care should be taken when eating sannakji. The active suction cups can cause swallowed pieces of arm to stick to the mouth or throat. This can also present a choking hazard for some people, particularly if they are intoxicated. One must thoroughly chew so that no piece is big enough to stick to one's throat. Some people like the feel of the pieces wriggling as swallowed, and so will not completely chew up the particles. Those who are new to eating sannakji should completely chew it up into tiny particles before swallowing.
Sannakji (live octopus) in Seoul, Korea
Try Eating a WHOLE Octopus all at once
wikipedia, blog.sushi.pro, deependdining.com, japanfortheuninvited.com,