Horse Meat Sashimi Last night I ate at a new restaurant with some JET folk. Like most restaurants in Matsuyama, the menu was in Japanese. Some restaurants have pictures, and luckily, this one had many.

One of the things I try to do when I eat out is try many different kinds of food. If I’m eating out and can’t decide between two dishes, 99% of the time I’ll choose the one I haven’t had before. In fact, it was just recently that I had to start relaxing that guideline, as I ran out of untried dishes in the restaurants in my neighborhood. I like takoyaki, I’ve eaten whale sushi, I eat raw eggs over my gyudon, and I do actually eat plenty of squid, despite my earlier experience with squid heads. I’ve even had natto recently that I didn’t mind at all. (For the record, the only thing I refuse to eat is shrimp in the shell. I don’t mean “peel and eat,” I mean “eat the shell with the shrimp”— unlike Ms. Semba, who sees it as another opportunity to get Calcium.) I’m an active and avid explorer of the culinary landscape of Japan. 🙂

Anyway, we went to a yakitori restaurant in the Okaido shopping arcade I’ve mentioned a number of times. I couldn’t read much of the kanji on the menu, so I just ordered by picture. I wanted a sushi dish to go with my chicken skewers and gyoza, so I ordered what looked like a deep red fatty tuna.

When it came, I was a little surprised at how much more it looked like beef than the picture. Not the squeamish one though, I plunged in after a brief moment to consider whether I trusted the restaurant’s preparation. I was interested to see what beef sushi tasted like.

It tastes exactly like you think it does. You know when you open a plastic tray of (fresh) raw beef from the supermarket, and you can smell the beef? It tasted about like that. Not really all that appetizing, but not enough of a turn off to not finish the three pieces I got.

After the meal, I was flipping through the menu to see how much I owed for my three small dishes; and relaxing after my meal, I realized I could read more of the kanji than I originally thought. Looking up at my beef sushi, I couldn’t find the character for “beef.” After a few puzzled seconds, I realized what it did have though, was the character for “horse.”

Yes, I ate horse sushi. My stomach turned just a little bit at the realization.

I’m happy to report that I’m feeling no ill effects of last night’s meal- not that I really anticipated any. Overall, I’d say it’s worth trying just to do; maybe order one dish between a couple friends so everyone gets just one piece, though. I was piling on the wasabi when I thought it was beef. I think I would have needed twice as much had I known it was horse.

11 Responses to “Hi Ho, Silver!”
  1. Wwwiihhl-BUURRR!

  2. that’s so not okay.

  3. ummm eeeeeewwwwwww.
    I am so glad that was you and not me, cause eeeewwww.

  4. I’d eat horse before whale, personally.

  5. Shannon Wood says:

    It just makes me think of the time we got yakitori from a street vendor. As my mom’s friend Karen ate her’s the vendor informed us that she was eating beef tongue. Sometime’s it’s better to eat first and ask questions later.

  6. I laughed so hard at what Brian wrote! Brian, you ought to come contra dancing…… some good guest callers! David, being a vegetarian has some advantages…….. accidentally eating horse is an adventure you would’ve not had. But being in Japan is about trying new things, too.

  7. maybe we should eat human meat oh we probarbly do already . at least we should slaughter them with a bit of compassion the horse .

  8. Horses WERE domesticated for Meat, and for people to get around on and to help people work..
    People say ‘Save the horses!’ meanwhile those people who say that have some pig or cow later on for dinner!
    or they go to mcDonalds and get a Hambuger!

    I never tasted Horse but yeah still.

    glue is made out of Horse!

    ‘save the cows!’
    ‘save the pigs’

  9. You are sick… make sure you are not eating some sort of domesticated animal before you order… a-hole

  10. All you guys are a bunch of pussies! I would have ate that horses’ hooves if they cooked that shit right!

  11. i would love to try horse for dinner but dont know where to buy it in the u.s. can someone help

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