Number 48: Eel

8 Jun

Yes, my friends, it’s time for the slimiest, grimiest creature of the deep: the eel.  The eel is known as the most dangerous undersea animal, killing up to 2,500 people around the globe each year.  These little bastards will electrocute you faster than you can say “water snake,” shooting you full of 100,000 volts of power.   Ok, I just made all of that up.   Literally all of it.  I don’t really know anything about eels…except you can eat them!

I have had eel before, but only in sushi form.  I have never even considered cooking with eel, and I had no idea how to even go about getting some.  That is, until I was walking around Mitsuwa and saw this:


It sat in my freezer for about a week until I finally had the guts to cook it tonight.  The problem was, I had no clue what to do with it.  I found myself sitting, staring at the package, hoping the eel would magically sprout a mouth and tell me exactly how to cook it.  That never happened, so I had to do some internet research again. Luckily, I found a great post here on how to broil it.  Too bad the post didn’t tell you how NOT to squeal in disgust when you touch the eel.  It was a bit, um, slimy.  <<shudder>>

Since the eel already came in a kabayaki sauce (soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar), all I had to do was broil it and make a wee side dish.  I decided to do a quick stir-fry of brown rice, peas, and garlic.  Then, I dug in.


I seriously was so surprised when I LOOOVED the eel!  I have had it in small doses when I’ve eaten sushi, but I never thought that eating a gigantic slab of it would be so pleasurable.  It was a little bit slimy and mushy on the inside, but it wasn’t intolerable at all.  And the flavor was wonderful.

THE VERDICT
Eel doesn’t taste much different from any white fish.  The kabayaki sauce gives it a great smoky-sweet flavor and, if you can get past the slime and mush, I think you’d like it a lot.  Yes, YOU.  I honestly think I would buy this again for another dinner.  Plus, it’s fun when your co-workers ask what you’re doing for dinner and you can reply, “eating eel.”  Then you raise one eyebrow and do a creepy smile.  Try it sometime.

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9 Responses to “Number 48: Eel”

  1. Scrambledsideup June 9, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Yum! What a great way to enjoy unagi! I never thought about using brown rice te texture must be great with the unagi. Glad to see another person cook unagi at home!

  2. Big Onion June 9, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    If eel is done right it’s awesome. Done wrong? It tastes like gross fishy nastiness.

    Too bad you didn’t go for fresh eel. Apparently, even after it’s dead, it writhes around.

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/05/nasty-bits-how-to-roast-an-eel.html

    In all my braveness when it comes to cooking, I don’t think I could handle that … frogs legs were weird enough.

  3. Allison @ PickyEatingRD June 9, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Gahhh you are soo adventurous. I on the other hand, am not. Also.. saw your Chicago comment on my blog. We are having a blogger meetup on Tuesday, June 28th if you are interested! Dinner at Karyn’s on Green, time TBD. Let me know!

  4. Miss Angie June 9, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Hmm… I’ve had Eel in sushi, but never like this. I’d try it! Great job, glad you liked it!

  5. Laura in Cancun June 9, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    You’re so brave! But I have to say that it DOES look delicious, and the sauce sounds amazing.

  6. Sophia @ Raven Waves June 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Hahaha!! I love your made-up facts about eels, and I’m pretty surprised that it was so tasty. I kept thinking about Flotsam and Jetsum from the Little Mermaid!

  7. IntenseGuy June 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Me love Eel. Fresh is best. They sell it at the local fish store here – I used to catch it myself when I was a little boy (decades ago in a fish trap).

    Teriyaki Eel sounds like something I want to try.

  8. Millions of Atoms Man June 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    I don’t even want to tell you what “eating eel” means in some third world countries.

    Actually, I really do want to tell you but then you would probably be sick forever.

    I don’t want to do that to you.

  9. Monique June 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    I love fish, but I agree, I HATE touching it (that’s what she said). I’ve also only ever had eel in sashimi form or atop sushi.

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