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Old 10-16-2004, 11:42 PM   #1
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What is eel like?

what' the texture like? and how about the flavor?
anything comparable?
thanks. :)

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Old 10-17-2004, 01:13 AM   #2
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The only eel I've had is in sushi. The texture is VERY tender yet still firm to the tooth and in this case, kind of sweet. VERY good. As far as any other eel, I don't have a clue - sorry. Maybe someone will come by and really help!
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Old 10-17-2004, 02:59 AM   #3
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Here’s a topic I can wrap my insomniac fingers around: Unagi, a true fish, not a snake. Elf, mega dittos on the sushi.

Eel is a firm fish, true, but can also be fork-tender.

The unagi we usually enjoy at sushi bars is typically broiled…brushed with a mixture of soy sauce and sweet sake. The result is a caramelized filet that is almost candy-like. Oh, I love broiled eel!

Far beyond this method exists a huge realm of ways in which eel is prepared. In ancient Japan, eel was always grilled. It was sliced open down the underbelly, gutted and de-boned, skinned, slathered with a sweet basting sauce and thrown onto the charcoal. Today, that method exists in the west, while East Japan has a more modern version that is first steamed, then grilled, then steamed again. And the resulting texture is still firm (which eel definitely is), but much more moist and delicate. Walking past a restaurant grilling eel and catching one faint scent of that wonderful aroma will bring you to your knees begging for a taste. For me, it’s the same as walking past a BBQ joint in Memphis, or a smoker with a succulent pork roast inside. The texture is very similar to chicken teri-yaki...you've had that at a Chinese restaurant, right?

Among a huge number of recipes, you will find eel braised, broiled, baked, grilled, pan-fried, smoked, pickled and on and on. Heck, I fell absolutely in love with Eel Liver Soup! (Tastes quite similarly to Monkfish Liver, if you’ve gotten that “sushi-brave” Elf…)

Here’s a recipe you can try at home…and it uses more American ingredients, assuming you don’t have mirin and miso in your cupboard!

Go to a good Asian market, pick out a cute eel and have the fishmonger (for lack of a better term) provide you with filets. Go immediately home and cut each filet into several 2-3 inch wide sections.

In a large saute pan, saute ¼ cup each of finely diced onions and celery in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the vegetables are transparent. Add your eel sections, then moisten them with about ½ cup of white wine, adding 3-4 chopped shiitake mushrooms. Next, add salt and pepper, the juice of half a lemon, ½ teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 tsp. each of fresh mint and thyme. Simmer until the eel is tender and remove to a plate. Add about half a cup of fresh heavy cream to the pan, and reduce. Return the eel to the sauce, reheat, and serve this over a bed of good sticky rice.
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Old 10-25-2004, 02:40 PM   #4
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We had eel sushi once; smoked. I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again, but I liked it more than I do most smoked seafood. Texture was not slimy, and the smoke flavor was strong enough that I couldn't tell you what the eel itself tasted like. Since I've not had it since, have no idea if that is a positive or negative!!!
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:12 PM   #5
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Can you believe my local newspaper just had an article on eel yesterday?! It talks about its nutritional value among some other interesting things. Here's the link: http://www.pennlive.com/search/index...0.xml?pennnenv
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:14 PM   #6
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I have only had eel at sushi restaurants, but would love to try it other ways. People who are hesitant to try sushi for the first time are usually very hesitant to try eel, but the ironic thing is that they would probably like eel more than most other things to begin with as it tastes very similar to something with BBQ sauce.
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Old 10-25-2004, 05:48 PM   #7
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eel best stuff i've ever had lol. Texture is like bass well you can get canned eel at like asian super markets or chiense groceries.
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:15 PM   #8
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anyone ever have baby eels? they are deelish, had them in a butter/garlic/lemon/parsley sauce, with some great sangria.
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Old 10-26-2004, 06:08 PM   #9
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If eel gives you the Heebie Jeebies, as Audeo says, just think of them as a fish because that's what they are. Fish. The have gills. The live and breathe under water.

They are usually cooked until they're almost falling apart tender. Almost always cooked in a sweet soy sauce (teriyaki of a sort). You can buy already prepared unagi in cans. These days, I like the frozen product.

BTW, unagi, the preferred eel is fresh water. Anagi, or saltwater eel is cheaper. I usually buy the cheaper stuff. Tastes almost as good, but at a much reduced price. The main difference, in my opinion, is the saltwater eel has a tougher skin.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:37 PM   #10
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eel skin is good for making wallets, and pants for kevin costner (waterworld).
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