Eating fresh, raw whale meat in Tsukiji Market, Tokyo, Japan

* Note: This action is solely my personal decision and has absolutely nothing to do with my sponsors for this trip.

I had been curious about whale meat for quite some time now. Those who have been following my blog would have realized that I’m game to try exotic/out-of-the-ordinary food as long as it doesn’t kill me. Heck, I even ate fugu (blowfish/pufferfish) laste year in Osaka, all warnings be damned.

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Just yesterday morning I went out to Tsukiji Market on my own. I queued for Sushi Daiwa, just so I could compare it to the superb Sushi Dai meal I had last year. After my meal, I wondered around the market in search of more food and more photos.

A day earlier we had a tour arranged for us by our sponsor (the hotel) and I went past a stall selling raw whale meat. However that was for sale only and they do not serve it as a meal.
By some stroke of luck I stumbled upon this shop on the outer part of Tsukiji Market yesterday morning. This is the part where the vendors are selling cooked items and dried goods. I don’t read Japanese but the pictures told me everything that I need to know.

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Eating whale meat in Tsukiji Market, Tokyo - rebecca saw blog

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Fortunately for me there is a girl working here that speaks a little English. She’s the kind soul who helped me shoot this video and also some of the pictures seen here.
Note: For those who are against whale meat consumption, do yourself a favour and don’t watch or read this post.

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Yes, like I mentioned in my video, it tasted like beef. But while there’s a certain pleasant flavour to beef, this was just chewy, raw and intensely bloody. The girl asked me to eat it with the soy sauce, saying that it would give it a better taste, which I understood why now. It is obviously to disguise the real flavour of the meat!
I certainly can’t develop a taste for whale meat and I won’t be craving for this anytime soon.

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Appearance-wise it’s a deep, dark red. I had thought it would at least resemblance tuna in flavour (being similarly reddish in colour) or at the very least, fishy. But no, it didn’t taste like fish at all. (Yes yes I’m aware that it’s a mammal, not a fish.)

The meat came from this whale (the one in the middle) and I believe it’s an acceptable species to catch and eat. After all this was in Tsukiji Market and selling in the open.

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For the sashimi experience, you would have to come inside the shop and a chef would slice some fresh ones for you. As for the fried ones (deep fried whale meat & whale meat korokke) on display outside, you can buy as take-aways.

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The menu. I don’t Japanese. What does it say? Anyone?

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I bought some of the fried ones as well. These were much more palatable.

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Here are the frozen ones. I wonder what parts of the whale are these?

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* More details of my weird eating adventures on www.RebeccaSaw.com/travel
1. Live octopus in Jagalchi Market, Busan, Korea
2. Live sago worms in Sibu Market, Sarawak
3.  Fugu (pufferfish) in Genpin, Osaka 

So, I have tried horsemeat in Belgium, raw and smoked herrings in Amsterdam, smoked weed, ate those creepy crawlies in Bangkok. What else, what’s next? 😀