I'm ugly but I'm yummy
Correspondence to a fish's post by cooknengr, about an ugly looking fish, I want to defend it.
Its name is Anko in Japanese.
In English, it is known as Anglerfish in a more scientific way, but more known as Monkfish when the fish is used as food.
After read further in wikipedia about this fish, I discovered very interesting points about this unique fish. Below are the quotings from wikipedia.
Predation (Source from here)
Anglerfish are named for their characteristic method of predation, which involves the use of the modified first spine from the first or spinous dorsal fin. This spine (the illicium) protrudes above the fish's eyes, with a fleshy growth (the esca) at the tip of the spine (the netdevil anglerfish has similar growths protruding from its chin as well). This growth can be wiggled so as to resemble a prey animal, and thus to act as bait to lure other predators close enough for the anglerfish to devour them whole. To accomplish this, the anglerfish is able to distend both its jaw and its stomach (its bones are thin and flexible) to enormous size, allowing it to swallow prey up to twice as large as its entire body.
As most anglerfish live mainly in the oceans' aphotic zones, where the water is too deep for sunlight to penetrate, their predation relies on the "lure" being bioluminescent (via bacterial symbiosis). In a related adaptation, anglerfish are dull gray, dark brown or black, and are thus not visible either in their own light or in that of similarly luminescent prey.
Do you remember the animation Finding Nemo?
(Picture source from here)
Do you remember this scary monster fish that almost gulped Nemo?
Scary huh~ It was Monkfish.
Hehe... now you know.
Another interesting fact about this fish is its Reproduction system, an extreme example of sexual dimorphism.
Let me quote this for you (source from here).
Some anglerfish have a unique mating method. Without light, finding a mate is a problem, especially at a time when both individuals are ready to spawn. When scientists first started capturing ceratioid anglerfish, they noticed that all of the specimens were females. These individuals were a few inches in size and almost all of them had what appeared to be parasites attached to them. It turned out that these "parasites" were the males.
When a male anglerfish is hatched, he has extremely well developed olfactory organs that detect scents in the water. He has no digestive system, and is unable to survive alone. His goal in life is to detect the pheromones that the female anglerfish release. When he finds a female, he bites into her flank, and an enzyme digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to their blood vessels. The male degenerates into nothing more than a pair of gonads that releases sperm when the female releases certain hormones into the bloodstream indicating egg release.
Now tell me, dear male readers, would you like to be one of these male Anglerfish? :P
Enough for the scary side facts.
Althought it is ugly, but in Japan, it is a culinary speciality. A delicacy that is mainly available only in winter.
It was so famous and high in demand that one good anko fish can cost up to US$150.
This is one of the way how you eat anko flesh.
Deep fried anko.
Man~~~ you have to try it to know what I mean by its irresistible sweetness and munchy soft texture. I could feel the good thing of this dish was spreaded throughly in my mouth.
By the way, I had this nice dish in Karaoke shop for only 280yen. (V^o^V)
But the most delicious part of the anko is not its flesh.
It is the liver!!!
While in europe, anko liver is thrown away in some countries...
...in Japan, a piece of anko liver alone, can cost US$100. *phew!!*
The most common way of eating anko liver is nabe (hot pot) stlye. But I didn't had that yet.
Instead, I tried an anko liver (ankimo) sushi.
Now, this is what I call a true delicacy.
The creamy and rich taste of this ankimo, easily make a first timer addicted to it.
Ah~ but then, winter is over soon.
Meaning Anko season will be over soon.