Unagi (fresh water eel)

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BunglingBill
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Unagi (fresh water eel) - Sun, 03/25/07 10:11 AM
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I didn't find the subject mentioned in the Forums. Hope, I'm not repeating, but has anyone had experience with Unagi?

A friend of mine gave me a package of frozen, cleaned fresh-water eel that he purchased at an Asian market.

He claims it is really good "properly prepared." When I asked him the best way to prepare it he said "Google it" ... which meant he probably didn't know either.

There are some recipes on the net, but I would prefer to hear from someone who has actually cooked or eaten it.

Man, those are NASTY looking critters when they're alive, but if the Japanese like them they must be worth trying.

Of course, they (the Japanese) eat blowfish too, don't they?

Trishkaidekaphobia
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Sun, 03/25/07 5:11 PM
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Bill, there are only two ways that I have ever had (or heard of having) eel. One is smoked. In Eastern Europe this is considered a delicacy. Most of my family adore it and consider it a real treat. I've seen nine year olds put away a substantial amount of this "delicacy" gladly.

As far as I am concerned, it is one of the few foods that I cannot STAND! While I will gladly eat herring, all manner of seafood, tripe, etc. I will not touch eel. It's quite fatty and tastes of the mud at the bottom of the lake (IMHO).

Boiled, jellied eel with a vinegar parsley sauce is a traditional dish in London's East End. It's served in "pie and mash" shops. It used to be a poor man's food in Victorian times when all that would survive in the Thames is the eel - and plentiful at that. Now it's a touristy thing but several shops remain. When I visited the East End in 1987, I had pie and mash and left the eel to the other tourists!

Good Luck to you Bill!

V960
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Mon, 03/26/07 3:27 PM
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Probably my fav Japanese food. I spent two weeks in Hammamatsu Japan which is considered the center of Unagi production and consumption a few years ago. I had eel at least three times a day and LOVED it.

Unagi Don is a bowl of rice covered w/ the eel...good way to start. The package you have probably came from from Taiwan...not a bad thing but not top quality. The Japanese don't export very much of the good stuff.

Enjoy...

Pigiron
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Mon, 03/26/07 3:54 PM
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In my opinon, Unagi is the KING of all sushi. As far as I know, it's never eaten raw. It's usually grilled or broiled and topped with a slightly sweet glaze. It's best when served a tiny bit warm. I have sushi or other Japanese food for dinner at least once a week, and no matter what I order, I always get a few pieces of unagi on the side.


BunnySlippers
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Mon, 03/26/07 8:59 PM
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There is a quite nice Japanese retaurant here in Charlotte, NC (Musashi on Johnston Rd for you locals) that serves fresh Unagi charcoal grilled - I believe it is listed on the menu as river eel. Slighlty smoky and crisp, it is very delicious with rice. Yum!

BunglingBill
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Tue, 03/27/07 8:42 AM
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Thanks for comments and tips. I think I'm going to try preparing it on the grill with some apple-wood chips for a mild smoke flavor. Might try lightly brushing it with a little Hosin (sp?) sauce when nearly done (which I will have to estimate, I guess). Serving it with rice sounds like the way to go.

Will let you know how it turns out.

rebeltruce
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Wed, 03/28/07 7:36 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigiron

In my opinon, Unagi is the KING of all sushi. As far as I know, it's never eaten raw. It's usually grilled or broiled and topped with a slightly sweet glaze. It's best when served a tiny bit warm. I have sushi or other Japanese food for dinner at least once a week, and no matter what I order, I always get a few pieces of unagi on the side.




I love Unagi Sushi also!

Unagi is avaialable here in Northern Va. at an ethinic (Korean I believe) grocery store called Grand Mart. It is already cooked and then flash frozen.

All there is to do is prepare a pot of Sushi rice, I use a widely available California brand, the name escapes me just now. Follow any good Sushi rice recipe, add a little sugar, and rice vinegar as you cool the rice down, again just follow any good Sushi rice recipe.

Heat the Unagi in a hot oven until it is warm, it is already cooked and glazed. Slice it accordingly, with care cuz sometimes it is a little fragile. You'll need a very sharp knife.

You'll also need some seaweed strips, these are widely available also, buy the already cut strips or the sheets and cut your own.

Shape your rice, add a dab of Wasabi to keep the Unagi in place on top, wet the end of a seaweed strip and wrap it up!

I've been told that it is impolite and not proper Sushi ediquitte to dip a piece of Unagi in soy or sdditional Wasabi. I however always do, I've always believed in the Justin Wilson philosophy of 'The kind of wine you like, is the kind of wine you should drink' So if I like my Unagi with a little extra dip, the that's the way I'm gonna eat it!!!....LOL!

V960
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Wed, 03/28/07 3:32 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by BunnySlippers

There is a quite nice Japanese retaurant here in Charlotte, NC (Musashi on Johnston Rd for you locals) that serves fresh Unagi charcoal grilled - I believe it is listed on the menu as river eel. Slighlty smoky and crisp, it is very delicious with rice. Yum!


Musashi is now the best Japanese restaurant in Charlotte. Mai is now closed.

dickestep
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Thu, 03/29/07 6:09 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by BunglingBill

I didn't find the subject mentioned in the Forums. Hope, I'm not repeating, but has anyone had experience with Unagi?

That may be the type of eel my Vietnamese crew served me back in 1967-68. I would have much prefered the sauteed chicken most of them had, but I was their guest of honor and ate it and "enjoyed" it, squeamish or not.

PigDawg
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Mon, 10/15/07 4:55 AM
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If I am correct it is already smoked to some point prior to being packaged.

As mentioned earlier you can prep it by slicing it in lil steaks and placing it on foil and broiling it until it is cooked. Approximately 5-6 minutes depending on the heat. Normally it comes with a sauce package which once cooked you can drip it over the eel...

You can serve it over a bed of rice or as well eat it on top of a sushi ball of rice.. Top with some sesame seeds and off you go. My family buys pacakges of it everytime we venture to Los Angeles and hit Lil Toyoko on our way back home...


Best of luck and yes it is a wonderful treat...

EdSails
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Mon, 10/15/07 11:33 PM
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I usually consider unagi my "dessert" sushi because of the sweet sauce. Yummy!

brittneal
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Tue, 10/23/07 9:41 PM
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I remember going to the "Volksfest" in Berlin in the mid 70's. Eel is like a "state fair" type food. Even little kids would be walking around chewing on a smoked eel on a stick. Never got myself to try them and the wurstand shashlik were so fantastic I was too stuffed each time I went(my excuse to my german girlfriend. lol).
britt

dick smith
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RE: Unagi (fresh water eel) - Sat, 12/29/07 2:50 PM
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on freshwater eels,
when i was a kid, 50 years ago we used to go to the shrewsbury river, nj. the ice would be 6-10 inches. we would use 20 foot poles with 6 spears on the end. one day outing we would fill a 35 gallon garbage can. $8.00/lb now. give 1/2 to a guy who would smoke them for us. the BEST smoked fish you ever had. the only other way we ate it was skinned and fried in 6 inch pieces, delicious as well. however,,,,, last summer we caught 12 eels in barnaget bay, i brought them home and started to clean them,, i never knew what the word "to wretch" meant. it was the foulest smell in the world. i threw them out. stick with whiting, sable is fantastic. my best to a great site/members