Have you ever had Eel? If not, then this article is for you.
We will discuss what Eel tastes like, how you can cook it, its health benefits, and much more.
We will also address some important queries related to Eels to give some much-needed clarity.
Table of Contents
What Is An Eel?
An Eel is a Ray-finned fish that belongs to the Anguilliformes order.
This order consists of 8 suborders, 111 genera, and around 800 species.
Eels go through constant development from the early larval stage to the adult stage.
What Does Eel Taste Like?
Eel has a good taste, and the texture of the meat is soft and firm.
The meat is chewy and doesn’t have a fishy aftertaste.
While Saltwater Eels have a thick skin and their meat is tougher than Freshwater Eels, they still have a good flavor.
Some say Freshwater Eels have a bland taste, but that is not true.
The Eel combines a sweet taste and a firm texture and tastes like lobsters, raw salmon, and squid.
When you eat a Freshwater Eel, you can feel the rich flavor and a bit of toughness.
How Is Eel Made?
Here is how you can prepare Eel for consumption:
Slit the skin behind the gills, circling the Eel’s body.
Grab the skin and pull back; this is tough to do, so you might require pliers, a disposable paper towel, or gloves.
If the Eel’s skin develops a tear, you can loosen the skin with a knife and then continue skinning the fish.
To gut the Eel, you will need to put a small-sized blade or knife in the ventral opening and make a cut towards the Eel’s head.
Push all the guts to one side of the Eel.
Along one side of the backbone, cut the membrane.
Cut the membrane on the other side of the backbone, and move the guts further over.
The guts will fall out of the Eel, and then you can eliminate them.
You can also fillet the Eel, choose a side, turn the fish, and cut the flesh near the backbone, just behind Eel’s head.
Run the knife down to the center of the fish, and keep it parallel to the backbone.
Remove the fillet from the body, and repeat the process on both sides.
If you plan to leave the Eel whole, remove the head by cutting it and discarding it.
How Do You Cook Eel?
There are many ways of cooking Eel, and here are some of them:
In most Sushi restaurants in Japan, Eel Sushi is extremely popular.
For Eel Sushi, Grilled Eel is placed on top of vineyard rice.
Sometimes the fish is wrapped in seaweed (Nori) to make the Nigiri Sushi.
Typically, Eel Sushi is accompanied by Wasabi and Sweet soy sauce.
However, a special soy sauce is sometimes brushed all over the Eel.
Donburi is a dish that is part of Japanese cuisine.
In this dish, a hot rice bowl is topped with Eel, also known as Unagi Don.
The preparation of Eel for this dish is known as Kabayaki style, and in this process, the Eel is split down its belly or back, bone, butterflied, cut into fillets, and gutted.
Then, the Eel is skewered, dipped in the Unagi sauce, and grilled.
There are two kinds of Unagi Don: Kansai and Kanto.
In Kanto-style cooking, the Eel is cut down its back and then butterflied.
A lightly colored strip runs down the Eel fillet.
The Eel is then cut into small pieces, skewered, and grilled without seasoning.
The eel is gently grilled over charcoal and then steamed, making the meat tender and soft.
Once the Eel is steamed, it is grilled for a second time with a special Eel sauce.
This style is known as Shiroyaki.
In Kansai cooking style, the Eel is cut belly down and then grilled gently over charcoal.
The Eel is then coated with a special Eel sauce until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy.
This style is known as Nabayaki.
While both styles use the same ingredients, the Kanto style is more focused on the tenderness of the Eel’s meat, whereas Kansai is focused on the crispiness of the Eel’s skin.
Once the Eel is cooked, it is placed over rice and covered in soy or Teriyaki sauce.
Check out 5 Best Lasagna Pans.
Grilled Eel is a popular dish in Korean cuisine and is also known as Jango-Gui.
The eel is cut into large-sized pieces before it is grilled.
As the Eel grills, it is brushed with a marinade made of gochujang.
However, you can also marinade the Eel before grilling it.
Grilled Eel is typically served with perilla leaves and sliced ginger.
The Eel is filleted and then cut into bite-sized, small pieces.
Then, the Eel is placed in a batter of tempura.
This batter is made of water, eggs, and flour.
The Eel is deep-fried at a temperature of 170 to 180 Degrees Celsius.
Then, the Eel tempura is garnished with a squeeze of lemon, sea salt, and a special soy sauce.
For this cooking process, the Eel is first gutted and then cleaned.
Sometimes, the Eel is brined before being smoked.
This adds an extra layer of flavor.
The Eel becomes succulent with a subtle, sweet, smoky flavor.
Smoked Eel is a delicacy in several countries, so it is typically an expensive dish.
Smoked Eels are usually served on toast, salad, or as a replacement for Mackerel.
Historically Eels were plentiful, cheap, and nutritious.
In the 18th century, Eels were first boiled in a spiced stock, which was cooled and later transformed into a jelly.
The Jellied Eels are typically eaten with parsley sauce, mashed potatoes, and savory pies.
What Do You Eat Eel With?
Here are some popular Eel dishes:
Caldeirada De Enguias
This is a Portuguese Eel stew accompanied by bell peppers, potatoes, and onions.
This variety of the Croatian Brudet originated in the Neretva region.
This dish is considered unique because it employs frogs and Eels.
This is a dish from the Netherlands and is considered a delicacy.
The dish consists of smoked Eel; it is flavorful, healthy, and filled with proteins, vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
The fish is typically served on a cracker, a bun, or with a snack.
Is Eel Good For You?
Eel has a number of health benefits, such as promoting healthy skins and bones.
Eel is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain bones’ health and protect the heart from dangerous diseases.
The fatty acids also reduce the risk of arthritis and diabetes, improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels.
Eel is also rich in Vitamins A, which can help reduce the wrinkles on the skin.
The fish contains two types of fatty acids: EPA and DHA.
EPA promotes healthy skin, whereas DHA aids mental health and helps the brain function normally.
Related Questions About Eel?
Is Eel Safe To Eat?
While Eel is generally safe to eat, it is not recommended for individuals with cholesterol problems.
Eel also has a high-fat content, so if your objective is weight loss, then don’t eat eel.
Is Eel Poisonous?
As long as the Eel is cooked properly, there is nothing to worry about.
The important thing to do is drain Eel’s blood during the preparation process.
In this article, we thoroughly discussed all the aspects of Eel.
We hope this article will help you understand what Eel tastes like and how you can cook it.
We have also shared some health benefits of eating Eel, so please go through them.
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