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Old 07-24-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
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Unagi/eel substitute...???

I LOVE LOVE LOVE unagi. (roasted/broiled eel) It is so good in sushi or in unagidon (rice bowl) and udon.

Anyway, the Seafood Watch group discourages the consumption of eel due to significant decreases in population.

I am wondering what, if anything, can be used as a decent replacement? Mackerel has been "ok" (due to the natural fattiness/oilyness and texture), but it isn't the same.



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Old 07-24-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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There is no substitute for unagi. A little pricey, but they're always available around here. And I love unagi donburi.

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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Yeah... I kind of didn't think so.

It isn't a cost issue, but rather an ethical one. I suppose if it is just a rare treat once in awhile it wouldn't be too bad. I'd have it at least once a week though, if I didn't care.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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I wonder if American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) might be a reasonable substitute. Perhaps catfish might serve as well. I am sorry to say that I have never eaten unagi... maybe one of these days.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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I see in the Seafood Watch sushi section that the Avoid is for farmed freshwater eels. Can they make unagi out of ocean caught? From what I've seen, there doesn't seem to be a shortage there. I think the sushi bars where we go in Mexico use locally caught saltwater eels.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:47 PM   #6
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I don't know where they get the idea that the conger eel is at a shortage, they are not. Go ahead and eat them!
They live in all the oceans, the only eel that may be in any sort of trouble is the European conger eel. The only eels I would stay away from are the farmed eels from China and Thailand because of the dirty conditions. That goes for fish and shrimp too!

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