Food is an adventure in science, as any intuitive cook well knows. But sometimes the science can get just a teensy bit weird, as in the Japanese seafood delicacy known as Odori-Don, or “dancing squid bowl,” a trendy variation on a traditional dish of Hakodate, Japan.
If you haven’t seen the action-packed video, here you go — Dancing Squid Bowl a.k.a. Dancing Zombie Squid:
No worries, the squid is not alive.
It’s not even merely among the undead… sort of…
Food Japan.net shares this tasty tidbit of background:
Although standard ika-don (squid rice bowl) prepared from live squid is both traditional and ubiquitous in Hakodate – squid is one of its main exports – this “dancing” method of preparation was only recently introduced by the sushi restaurant Ikkatei Tabiji as, largely, a marketing gimmick.
Nevertheless, the trend has spread and odori-don is now offered (under a variety of other names, as the original term is patented) at a sizeable number of locations across Hakodate.
As University of Virginia chemistry professor Charles Grisham explains to Discovery News, it’s all about the neurons, and the sodium chloride (salt) in the soy sauce:
Those of us with fond memories of Michigan J. Frog (“Hello! ma baby/ hello! ma honey/ hello! ma ragtime gal…”) may be charmed to know that the odori act is not restricted to squid alone.
See also Frog Legs Dancing With A Little Salt (video embedded below for your convenience and, er, appetite control):
And the same principles that are behind the dancing squid are at work in the preparation of this disturbing froggie delicacy.
In short, Neurons + Salt = Zombie Seafood.
All righty then, who’s up for going vegetarian?
Or at least, cutting back on the sodium?