Disclaimer: Moving image below may gross you out.
Ever think to yourself…hey…wouldn’t it be awesome to eat a whole raw squid, but not just a whole raw squid, a whole dancing raw squid? I don’t know about you guys, but……I have never freaking thought of that. What am I? A weirdo?
But for those who happened to answer yes to that question (weirdos) or are just curious as to what the bejezzus is going on in this crazy gif of mine, here is the explanation:
The “not at all terrifying” dish before you is a Japanese dish called Odori-Don, which in Japanese translates to “dancing squid rice bowl.” As the name suggest, the dish consist of raw squid placed on top of rice, typically served with fish roe and soy sauce. My sushi experiences just won’t be the same after seeing this.
Although watching a video about this on youtube may of made my stomach turn, I actually found the science behind this dish quite fascinating. While the squid is not alive, the result of soy sauce touching the squid’s nerves can make it seems like the squid is moving. Here is a slightly more scientific explanation:
Although the squid is deceased, the squid’s cells still contain unused adenosine triphosphate (or ATP), which is responsible for triggering muscular contraction and expansion and, therefore, movement. In living squid, ATP is triggered by the central nervous system sending electrical impulses to the brain. With no brain involved, the ATP just sits dormant, and over time, dissipates, as the now-dying cell fails to create new ATP.
So why does soy sauce make ATP work? Well, soy sauce contains sodium and potassium. The sodium and potassium ions together send a similar chemical trigger to the nerves, causing the ATP to contract and expand the muscles. The result: a creepy dancing squid headliner for a meal. (Source: http://dlewis.net/nik-archives/dead-squid-dancing/)
So there you have it folks. If you are ever in Japan and happen to try this dish, I’d love to hear your experiences. Leave a comment below and let me know of any odd food experiences you have had.
I hope you enjoyed this random, slightly gross, slightly informative post for the day. Stay tuned for more.