Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The Fugu Food Truck Is Coming!
Fugu is a highly prized fish, which has been eaten by the Japanese for thousands of years. However, it also contains a deadly poison, tetrodotoxin, which is 1250 times more toxic than cyanide and for which there is no antidote. A tiny amount, only 1-2 milligrams, is sufficient to kill someone. Each year, there is an average of 30 or so cases of fugu poisoning, leading to 6-7 deaths each year. Those who did not die consumed enough poison to get sick, but not enough to kill them. Chefs who serve fugu must be specially licensed and the rigorous training to obtain such a license takes at least two years. Most deaths from fugu consumption are due to inexperienced individuals trying to prepare fugu on their own.
Fugu Truck, will be traveling the streets of Boston. Though it is named after the deadly fish, do not worry as they will not be serving actual fugu. Trying to properly slice fugu on a moving truck would have been a formidable task.
This past Sunday, I was invited to attend a special preview event, to view the truck, check out some of their potential food, and to chat with those involved. It was a fun event, with some tasty food, and I believe the Fugu Truck has much potential. The cute pufferfish on their truck is intended to be a symbol, and Chef Bing first saw this fugu on the handle of one of his knives. As it takes much skill and training to prepare fugu, the symbol on their truck is thus meant to represent the "discipline, dedication, and sophistication" they hope to bring to their food.
schedule for where they will be on any specific day. Though much of their food will be authentic, they won't limit themselves and may create some of their own Asian-inspired dishes. The menu will change constantly, and they will likely sell about 7-8 items each day. About half the items will be prepared off the truck and the other half will be prepared on the truck. They are still working on their pricing, though it will probably be something like two Pork Belly Buns for $5 and Bubble Tea for $2.50.
Bing wanted to move out on his own, to indulge his culinary creativity. While pondering a number of ideas, he and several college friends checked out the SOWA Open Market and were intrigued by the idea of food trucks. After more discussion and exploration of the concept, they decided to create an Asian street food truck. They succeeded in fund raising through Kickstarter and are ready to launch their truck in less than a week.
It is clear that much care has been invested in their recipes and food preparation, and they are still very open to suggestions and recommendations. The staff members I spoke to seemed both positive and passionate, excited to begin this new endeavor. Kudos to Chef Bing and I wish him and his partners the best of luck with their Fugu Truck.