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Stone Fish

Stone Fish

Food to Die For - Sn 1/Ep 4Food to Die For - Sn 1/Ep 4

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Guy heads to the Philippines to track down the delicious stone fish which camouflage perfectly into the surrounding reefs and have spines filled with a deadly neurotoxin.

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Transcript

- The Philippines is home to more aquatic species than any other country on Earth. The warm turquoise waters and beautiful colored reefs paint the picture of paradise. But hiding in the shadows is one of the most dangerous ingredients on the planet. The stonefish. The stonefish are found in these shallow coastlines. Their backs are lined with needle-sharp spines that are filled with deadly neurotoxins, and their camouflage makes them nearly impossible to spot. With this delicacy, one wrong step and it's lights out. Good day guys, I'm Guy Turland from Bondi Harvest and in this series we're gonna search for the most wonderful ingredient, it just happens to be the most dangerous to find. We traveled across the globe to meet the people that have made it their lives work to collect the most prized ingredients on the planet. This guy's nuts. Welcome to Food To Die For. This is what we're here for, the deadly but delicious stonefish. What makes it so deadly is these spines along its back that are full of neurotoxins that will kill you within an hour. But if you can get past the spine, either side is the most delicate white flesh, that's prized throughout the world, perfect for sashimi, perfect for frying and cooking. It's just hard to imagine something so scary is so delicious. Covered in rock-like camouflage it's found right throughout the Indo-Pacific Region, and is responsible for many deaths every year. Despite its appearance the stonefish has a unique soft sweet flesh, often prepared as a sashimi delicacy. I'm on my way to meet some local divers who risk their life to catch these little death traps. So what are we gonna do today? Where are you taking me? - We're going to the sea to catch some stonefish. - Stonefish. How far out? How deep do we go? - It's like 50 meters. - Okay, and what will happen if we get stung? Is there any like plan? I know we... - No plan. - There's no solution. - So don't get stung. - Yeah. - We're in the middle of an island, there's no hospital or medical help, so if we get stung, there's no help there's nothing, I'm kind of nervous to be honest. I mean they look confident, I don't feel confident at all. As we head out to find these guys, I'm having some serious doubts. Having done a lot of diving in the past, I'm comfortable with most things in the ocean but purposefully looking for the most poisonous that's crazy. Traditional diving methods would call for fins, a wetsuit, a tank, a dive meter, so you know how deep you're going down, so you know how quick you can and cannot come up to, you know, stop getting the bends. These guys have got a net wrapped around a piece of twine with lights on it, fully clothed, and they dive with a hose. Just a hose. Alright guys. Wish me luck. We travel along looking through the coral trying to spot one, the fishermen must have an eagle-eye to see the stonefish at all. They're so well camouflaged I can't see them anywhere. Then, he spots one. Underwater, it's easy to forget just how dangerous these fish actually are. After seeing them in their natural habitat their name makes perfect sense. They blend in with the rocks making them even more dangerous to get close to. He gets away. Quickly, he's able to net him. Even with the fish in the net, it's still not safe. The nets are so thin and it would be easy for him to swim out, so it takes a skilled diver to swim with an open net and keep the fish from escaping. Continuing along the bottom, we search for more fish. We find one. And then another. With bag full of poisonous fish, it's time to get out of here, I've had enough. I'm so glad I left them to do that and not me. That's just gnarly. Apart from that, the waters beautiful. I think it's time now to see if the flavor is worth all the effort and danger. It's time to visit the maestro who prepares this infamous dish in person. Kitsho restaurant in Pasay City is one of the most popular Japanese restaurants in all of Manila. Thanks to the culinary wizardry of Executive Chief Masahiro Mizumoto. This fish is so dangerous you need a special license to prepare it for consumption. The chief carefully slices around the dorsal fin keeping the venom and spines intact. The flesh itself is not poisonous so once the venom is removed he continues to prepare the dish. Wow. Thank you. - Stonefish sashimi. - Beautiful. Thank you. - You're welcome. - Wow, that is impressive. Oh my God, what a plate. It stands out, it's not a beautiful fish in anyway. Yet people go crazy for it. Look at that, beautiful opaque white delicate flesh sliced to perfection. It's one of the smoothest sashimi's I've had. It's buttery, it's got a really nice sweet flavor to it. It's intimidating. I don't know if I could get used to eating a scary dish everyday. Is the stonefish a food to die for? I'm not quite sure about this one guys. It's damn ugly, it's delicious, you'll have to come to Manila and find out yourself. Thanks for watching and do me a favor, check out all our other episodes.

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