Fast Food Deep Fryer Using Live Goldfish Tank

This is a deep fryer that uses a goldfish tank with live goldfish. Oil and water don’t mix, so the 163 degree oil stays on top. The fish eat the greasy food flakes that fall through, stay away from the surface, and can happily live for 5-10 years.

Someone should make a “green” fast-food joint where every machine fed back to the environment in a cool way like this; a “Zero Impact” McDonald’s of sorts. — BEN POPKEN

[via Cscout] (Thanks to c-side!)


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  1. kimsama says:

    BWAH HA HA HA! This is why I miss Japan. Hilarious “investigative” journalism, particularly the part where he throws the water into the pan of oil: “SUGEI!”

    I have already watched that part three times and cracked up each time.

  2. homerjay says:

    From Japan. WHAT A SHOCK!

    I will continue to maintain that the Japanese are a cah-razy people.

  3. mrmysterious says:

    Wow that is pretty darn neat….but I wouldn’t want my french fries cooked that way.

  4. kidnextdoor says:

    Okay…that’s really crazy…I still think having the hot oil that close to the water would make things too hot for the fish. And I really wish I took Japanese instead of French in high school…maybe I’d understand them explaining how it’s all working.

  5. thejbs says:

    I would imagine those little goldfish would die of little fishy heart attacks pretty quickly.

  6. Nicholai says:

    Thats Japan for ya!

  7. godai says:

    So when the fish eventually die and float up.

    Is there a layer of breading for them to get breaded before becoming goldfish tempura?

  8. davere says:

    What about the poop?

  9. tph says:


    How do they clean the tank? Goldfish are very messy, and need to have their water changed on a regular basis.

    Why does the water underneath not heat up to an uncomfortable level for the fish?

  10. unchi says:

    how is the water aerated?

  11. Mr. Gunn says:

    see those radiator pipes? The oil is only hot on the top.

  12. pe_tor says:

    How do you fry in 163 degree oil? I guess it must be Celcius? But even then, frying works well when oil is hot enough to make water boil on contact, I don’t understand how that could possibly work and not kill the fish. Not to mention poop and aeration issues…

  13. @davere: My first thought exactly…what about the poo? I know water and oil don’t mix, but what about fish poops/dirty water that touches the oil, doesn’t that make the oil gross?? (Not that its going to be any grosser than most of the fried food stuff I eat)…

  14. mac-phisto says:

    but what of the trans fat consumption of the fish!?!?!! this is animal cruelty!

    @godai: lmao. that’s great!

  15. Hoss says:

    There must be a filteration system. Aside from the poops, fish pee pee is pretty toxic. And don’t goldfish breathe mostly from the surface?

  16. urban_ninjya says:

    Looks like there’s a hole in the bottom for filtering. I guess the water can be cooled and airated in an external filter.

    But how do you get new fish into the tank? Either have to pop them in when they’re little guppies through the filter out flow, then hope they don’t get eaten by the other fish. Or I guess you can find a fish that can survive being deep fried and drop them in from the top.

  17. urban_ninjya says:

    @pe_tor: My Japanese is basic at best. But near the end they were showing a demo of that guy pouring ‘mizu’ (water) on the oil without it exploding, as opposed to the hot oil in the wok.

  18. major disaster says:

    Nevermind the how. What I want to know is the why. Why would anyone do this?

  19. CaptainRoin says:

    Is that an iPod strapped to the side of the fryer? at about 10 seconds in.

  20. synergy says:

    Even if oil doesn’t mix, there should be some heat transfer. The heat doesn’t care if it’s going from oil to water or air to earth.

    My Japanese is also very rudimentary, but that guy just did what every chemistry class tells you NOT to do. NEVER add water to oil!

  21. faust1200 says:

    Translation: “So this is how we make crazy American-style fatass goldfish!”

  22. Craig says:

    I’d be a lot more impressed if the tank held larger fish and as soon as you selected one it was pushed up into the oil to be instantly fried.

  23. Dervish says:

    Yeah, the temperature is way low. 163 celsius is still only around 320 farenheight. For reference, I believe fish is fried around 340 and chicken/french fries/donuts are increasingly higher than that.

    The thing I can’t believe, though, is how fast they must go through fry oil. Water is one of the things that contributes to the breakdown of frying fat, making it smelly, smoky and unusable.

  24. JohnAsimov says:

    @faust1200: hilarious!

    I was thinking the same thing. These have to be the most unhealthy goldfish ever. I’ll be they taste pretty good when they reach optimum girth. Like Kobe goldfish!

  25. mackjaz says:

    @major disaster: Yeah, Why?

  26. JasonTrue says:

    I’ve seen this at a trade show in Japan and mentioned on my blog on it a couple years ago (2004) when they demoed it with just the ice cubes and a glass of water; In 2006 they started demoing the waste collection tank with live goldfish. (my blog is, search for “Clean Fryer”)

    It’s a really cool fryer, but the point isn’t that it sustains live goldfish; the value is that water and food debris are filtered into a waste collection tank. According to the company, that waste collection tank needs regular cleaning, but the vat of oil doesn’t get smelly as quickly, and it’s safer than old-school fryers because water is quickly filtered out, rather than becoming steam trying to escape oil…

    The TV show is actually just doing a fluffy PR piece for the fryer company, not offering some new trendy way of keeping goldfish :)

  27. LAGirl says:

    1. why????????
    2. what about the poo??????
    3. eeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!!!!

  28. mrzer0 says:

    It is not an iPod, but instead the temperature gauge that they use later in the segment.

    When they show the same gauge the Captain was asking about, it shows 163 Celsius. Also, this is Japan, soooo… that would be a safe guess indeed :)

    Like everyone else, I have to wonder why on earth you would do that? What happens when they deep fry fish-filets? That just seems sick and wrong! Goldfish aren’t Bettas! They don’t eat fish, they eat crappy food and each others poop! :)

    That scenario reminds me of the BW3s commercial where the chicken is mad at the customers inside of BW3s eating up all the blazing wings. So to demostrate her anger, she throws all of her eggs at the window of the restaurant! I just find myself wondering why the chicken who is mad that we are eating other chickens, would choose to destroy all of her children in protest!

    Anyway, here’s to hoping there’s more to the video explaining some of the other unanswered questions *crosses fingers*

  29. asherchang says:

    I wonder exactly what temperature the water is, if it’s supposed to be significantly less than the oil…. And ok, the fish eats the batter crumbs that sink through the oil and into the water, but where does the poo go? Hopefully it’s heavier than water…. Or at least not lighter than oil X(

  30. asherchang says:

    @mrzer0: She’d actually be throwing her periods at them.

  31. TinaB says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s kinda of cool? Yeah? Ok, I’ll go back to my corner now..

  32. eternal1001 says:

    @kidnextdoor: heat tends to rise. the heat escaping the oil will travel (mostly) up. also notice that the radiator pipes are near the middle of the oil. that further removes the heat from the water. then take into consideration that the water temp can be controlled via the water pump speed – water too hot? speed the pump up and cool the water externally.

    note: that would also take care of the poops and peepees.

    also, as for crappy frying oils, that’s basically an American specialty. I bet that Japan only fries with the best.