An Exotic Afternoon Snack

Uncooked blowfish tails

Ryan and I have never been picky eaters. In fact, we relish the opportunity to try new things whenever the opportunity arises.

This adventurous spirit often turns visits to the market into much more intensive endeavors, but typically, the end result is always worth it. That’s why when I saw these blowfish tails as I was buying shrimp at our neighborhood fish market, I knew I couldn’t resist them.

You’re probably thinking, “Blowfish? Like the poisonous kind?” But my kind fishmonger assauged my fears, explaining that these tails are from Northern Pufferfish, which are non-toxic.

After getting some instruction on how to prepare and cook them, I took my “catch” home, excited to make a special afternoon snack for me and Ryan.

Blowfish tails, raw and cooked

After I removed the additional fin on the little tails, I whipped up a garlic butter and lightly dredged my treats with flour. Then, I pan-fried them for just a minute or so each side—enough to cook through and get slightly golden.

The result? Not too different from a petite chicken drumstick. In fact, the Northern Puffer is also called “sea squab,” a moniker that is understandable and justified. The blowfish flesh is mild and very similar to tilapia or another flaky whitefish, but the bone that runs along the tail makes for a quick, easy to eat snack.

Blowfish tails, cooked in garlic butter

One thing that separates blowfish from so many other exotic foods? They’re incredibly inexpensive! At just under $6 per pound, they ring up even cheaper than shrimp and are much more exotic.

Forego the shrimp cocktail and whip up a batch of these tender nuggets—your guests will be both amazed and grateful.

- Laura

P.S. For those in the path of Hurricane Irene, please stay safe tonight and tomorrow! We are in a Zone B evacuation zone in Manhattan, but have cozily hunkered down with plenty of food, water and other essentials.


  1. kimia kline
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 03:40:14

    wow. these look so delish. at first i was trying to see if i could figure out what they were before reading :) but i totally failed.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:30:39

      Hehe, that’s intentionally why I left blowfish out of the title—didn’t want to give it all away at once! -LR


  2. Jaden
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 06:05:51

    Wow! What a great find! I can’t imagine fish tasting like chicken – now I’m on a search for blowfish, I wanna try!


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Sep 04, 2011 @ 21:29:32

      Jaden, what an honor to get a comment from you—much less introduce you to something unique! Thanks, I’ve been a long-time reader. -LR


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