Longfin Eel - Anguilla reinhardtii; Shortfin Eel - Anguilla australis
Eels are becoming increasingly available live and chilled. They are most commonly used smoked and in casseroles, pâtés or soups, but are also delicious grilled or barbecued. If barbecuing, it helps to steam the eel first in an Asian-style steamer. For kabuyaki, the fillets are grilled and steamed alternately up to five times.
Poaching is also an excellent way of preparation because eels are gelatinous. If left to cool, the poaching liquid forms a fragrant jelly for use in sauce preparations. The eel can then be used in soups formed from the poaching liquid, or in pâtés or casseroles.
Serve with tapenade or eggplant relish or try spit- or char-roasting eel, complemented with deep-fried capers and pickled beets. Eel lends itself also to the flavours of chilli, shallots and soy for an Oriental-style dish.
Eel cutlets and steaks present beautifully, especially when grilled on a very hot plate and served with a rich, red wine and balsamic vinegar reduction.
Jellied eel is popular in Europe. Smoked eel is becoming more readily available in Australia.
Some of the larger eels taken in rivers and lakes can have an earthy flavour. Deep skinning of the eel yields flesh with a lighter flavour and lower fat content.
Larger eels usually have quite oily flesh in addition to a fatty layer under the skin. Saltwater eels are less oily than freshwater eels and wild-caught eels are often less oily than cultured eels.
With char roasted eel, or when served with tapenade or eggplant relish, select a Rosé or lighter textured red wine such as a pinot noir. Eels have a robust flavour and in combination with charred flavours and olives, red wine styles are preferred. Generally, lighter red styles such as Cabernet Rosé or “Nouveau”, or varietals such as Grenache or delicate pinot noirs complement the flavour of eels.
Nutrition Information (average quantity per 100g)
||33% of total fat
||42% of total fat
||25% of total fat