Don’t look now, but the squid you're eating just might be alive. At least that’s what this food video featuring a flailing squid suggests. The viral video, originally posted by Instragrammer @ronomnom—who chronicles her food obsession from Tokyo—captures the Japanese delicacy known as ika-don (literally “dancing squid rice bowl”). The dish involves a freshly prepared, headless whole baby squid, served on top of rice and seemingly rising from the dead when doused with soy sauce.
For the uninitiated, the shock of witnessing this Lazarus-like squid (the video is greatly enhanced by Insider with some impeccably chosen horror-movie music and screams) may trick diners into thinking that they're actually eating a still-live creature—one of many in the Japanese tradition. In reality, what’s going on here is simply that the sodium in the soy sauce triggers a chemical reaction, which causes the muscles in the squid to spasm.
According to Food Japan, the traditional squid rice bowl preparation (known in Japanese as ika-don) is ubiquitous in Hakodate, a Japanese city located in the southern tip of Hokkaido, but this dramatic “dancing’” presentation was only recently introduced by the sushi restaurant Ikkatei Tabjii as a marketing gimmick. Buoyed by its runaway success, many restaurants in the region have followed suit, hawking the dish under the name odori-don, as ika-don has apparently been patented.
If you come across any stateside restaurants serving zombie-like ika-don, whip out your iMovie app and send us your best Dawn of the Dead short.
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