If you are a meat eater, you probably don't expect any of your food to move about on your dinner plate. This however, is not the case for the chef at the Ikkatei Tabiji in Hakkaido, Japan who has prepared “odori-don” which literally means “dancing squid rice bowl. The squid is not alive, so how come it's moving? It is freshly prepared by the chef and the salt in the soy sauce re-activate its nerves in the cell membrane, making it look like it’s “dancing”. If you are intrigued by this dish, it will cost you around £15.30 per person.
Call us old-fashioned but we have no desire in seeing our food moving around and doing a little jig on the dinner plate. Looking at the image and video below might give you the impression that the animal is suffering. However, most people should be aware that the squid is not alive on this dish, just like when you’re eating any other meat-based dishes. It's actually the use of soy sauce which creates a disturbing impression of bringing a dead squid back to life.
The squid has had its head removed by the chef with the tentacles left on. Pouring the soy sauce, which is rich in salt, on the squid sends ions to the cell and causes the muscle to react, twitches and flails around the plate. A live squid normally moves its tentacles when the brain sends an electric command to the muscles. But since the head has been chopped off, the brain can’t send the signals and that’s where the salt comes in, as a substitute for the electric signals. It is similar to how animals tend to twitch even after being slaughtered.
A word of warning: do not watch this video if you get queasy easily, your are a vegetarian and/or you are a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants. But it’s hard not to click on it. But the real question is, would you order and eat this dish?