Are you a fish lover? Have you tried all types of fishes out there? Have you tried the eel? Many people are quite intrigued about this fish mainly because of its high price, and the most common question that they have is—what does eel taste like? Why would people spend thousands of dollars just for a kilogram of this fish?
Well, I am here to answer that question and more than that, I will also be throwing in a few bonus eel cooking tips so you can make the most out of your first try of this controversial type of fish.
What is An Eel?
Eels are elongated fishes that range from 2 to 4 inches in size. Because of their weird size and shape, many people shy away from eating them.
In addition to that, these fishes swim via body wave generation which runs through the entire length of their body. Because of this simple mechanism, eels can swim backward — one thing that not all fishes can do.
There are two types of eels — saltwater and freshwater eels. These types have varying textures. The saltwater eels are considered to have tougher flesh and skin. Because of this, they are a lot cheaper as compared to their freshwater counterparts.
What Does Eel Taste Like?
If you have not yet had a taste of this type of fish or you feel reluctant to do so, you must be wondering how it tastes like. So now, let us go to the fun and intriguing part—what does eel taste like?
Other people claim that they taste like squid in the sense that they are rather bland or tasteless, but they have a particular aroma and flavor that is distinct to them.
I can’t say for sure if you will love the taste of the eel because it will be a matter of personal preference. In addition to that, you should also know the fact that the taste of the eel may vary depending on the method of cooking employed.
Different Ways to Cook Eel
With that in mind, you may be asking what are the best ways to cook and prepare eel. Since eel is quite popular in Japan (because of its health benefits), then it is safe to say that the best ways to cook eel are the ways on how Japanese people cook them. With that in mind, here are some amazing options:
Kabayaki (Grilled with Soy Sauce)
For this cooking style, there are lots of processes involved. The eel is filleted, deboned, cut into a butterfly, skewered and then grilled. While it is grilling, the fish is brushed with a sweet soy sauce.
Many Japanese people opt for this method of cooking because it unleashes the deep and rich flavor of the fish. In addition to that, a grilled eel features a crispy texture that anybody will love.
Eel Nigiri (sushi)
This is the most common way on how Japanese people eat eels. The dish features a ball of pressed rice with a strip of deboned eel fillet on top. The eels are first grilled with tare sauce before being placed on top of the rice ball. The rich flavor of the eel goes well with the sweet flavor of the plain rice.
Eel Hone Senbei (Eel crackers)
If you want to eat your eels with an alcoholic drink, this is the best option that you have. This dish is prepared by deep frying the bones of the eel fish until they are crunchy enough (like crackers). The dish has a light and salted flavor that matches the rich flavor of alcoholic drinks.
If you love the way Japanese people cook their rolled egg omelet (Tamagomaki), then you would love this simple recipe too. Umaki refers to the dish wherein the thin slices of eels wrapped in Tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet).
The reason why this dish is loved by many is because of the way the rich and savory flavor of the eel complements the fluffy and sweet omelet.
Eel is considered to be an exotic type of fish. In many countries like Japan, it tends to be quite expensive, amounting to thousands of dollars for just one kilo. Because of this, there’s a high chance that you have not tasted this fish yet and you may be wondering what does eel taste like.
If you have any questions or you wish to share more information about eels with us, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!