The Japanese are cool. They have ninjas, Robotech, samurai, origami, and Takeshi’s Castle. And they make sushi! Sushi is totally the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth. Japanese food is all-around awesome. The cuisine of Japan generally includes rice + a strange menagerie of sliced up organisms: eels, toxic puffer fish, other fishes, octopuses, sea urchins, seaweed, grasshoppers, and yes, even the occasional salamander. Okay, so some of those things aren’t very strange, but salamanders? That’s weird. This is the first time I have seen salamanders prepared as food for human consumption. This must simply reflect my own ignorance. Given the broad distribution of amphibians across the planet, these animals probably make a sizable contribution to the diets of many people. Apparently, westerners are only comfortable eating frog legs, and even that practice doesn’t seem very common (except in France). For the sake of the amphibians, I am happy that we gluttonous Americans don’t eat many of them. I must admit, however, that I would be willing to try some salamander-kebab or sushi (see below) if it were prepared by a skilled Japanese chef and if the species were under no threat of decline. Add a little wasabi and some soy sauce… domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!
I found these photos on the Japanese version of Google Images: