How Long Must You Train to Become a Fugu Chef?

If you want to be a professional fugu (blowfish) chef in Japan, it’s going to take you quite a few years before you start serving this infamous delicacy . Training for a fugu chef takes 7-10 years, a rigorous written exam, and an exam where he must successfully clean the poisonous fugu in front of more experienced fugu chefs.

 But what is there to fear about eating a blowfish? The skin, liver, and ovaries of the fugu blowfish contain the tetrodotoxin poison, for which there is no known antidote and which paralyzes the muscles, induces coma, and invariably leads to death. So just how intense is it? There are only a dozen certified fugu chefs in the U.S., while fugu is banned in the European Union. Japanese grocery stores must apply for a special permit to sell fugu, and even then they can only sell cutlets, not the entire fish.

If you want to learn more about fugu or Japanese cuisine in general, the following websites may be helpful:

Brigham Young University-Idaho Japanese Association Fun Facts:

KCP International:

Serious Eats:




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