Taro Yamada used to be the best chef in Tokyo. But for some reason he and his wife Anzu left Japan and moved to New York. Now they are working in one restaurant, owned by Taro’s nephew Iku. Taro is very good at cooking fugu. Fugu is a poisonous fish. If it is not prepared carefully enough, it can be deadly. One night two men come and demand to talk to Taro. They are dangerous gangsters from a famous Japanese society of criminals called Yakuza. In Japan Taro refused an offer to work in their restaurant. Now the men are threatening to kill Taro and his family unless he agrees to be their chef. But first he has to show his culinary skills and prepare the fugu fish the gangsters have brought. Unexpectedly the men want Taro to try the dish first.Download Ebook Download AudioBook
Fugu by Brennan Frank
Time: the present
Place: a top Japanese restaurant in New York, USA
It was midnight. The restaurant was closed. The last customers had left and all the waiters had gone home.
Taro Yamada looked thoughtfully at his row of knives. They shone in the bright lights of the kitchen. He liked to tidy them away at the end of a long day.
The knives came in many sizes. They were all extremely sharp. Mr Yamada, after many years of practice, knew exactly how to use them. He had learned all about cutting fish when he was a young man. He used to work in the fish markets of Japan, where he cut up lots of fish every morning.
Taro had learned how to cook fish in Japan too. For many years he had worked in the finest fish restaurants in Japan. He had been the best chef in Tokyo. He could make the finest meals from all kinds of food from the oceans.
Yes, he had learned everything he needed to know. They had been good years. There was nobody who knew more about fish than Mr Taro Yamada. Nobody.
These days, Taro mainly prepared sashimi for customers in a Japanese restaurant in New York. Sashimi is finely-cut uncooked fish and it comes with a sauce. Taro could prepare sashimi really well. And the most expensive sashimi is fugu.
Fugu is the Japanese name for the puffer fish. Its skin, heart and liver are all poisonous – although, sometimes, the liver is carefully prepared for people who want to try it. You can eat most other parts of the fugu, but it sometimes leaves a strange feeling in you. It is like feeling that you can’t stand up or like having a strong alcoholic drink. The feeling comes from the very small amount of poison that is left in the fish…