How to prepare eel

Eels can be prepared in a similar way to other finfish. However, since eels are less commonly prepared and their preparation presents certain difficulties, the process is described separately here.

Eel skin is tough and slippery and should be removed as soon as the eel is dead. If the skin is not removed it will dry out and become even more difficult to detach.

1. slit the skin just behind the gills, circling the body.

preparing eel 1

2. grasp the skin and pull it back. This is difficult so you may need pliers, a glove or a disposable paper towel. If the skin rips, loosen it with a knife and repeat the process.

preparing eel 2

3. To gut, put a small-bladed, non-flexible knife in the ventral opening and cut towards the head.

preparing eel 3

4. push all the guts to one side of the eel.

5. cut the membrane along one side of the backbone.

6. move the guts further over and cut the membrane on the other side of the backbone. The guts will then fall out and can be discarded

Eels can be filleted in a similar way to other finfish. With the eel on its side, cut across the flesh to the backbone just behind the head. Run the knife down the centre of the eel, keeping the blade parallel to the backbone. Remove the fillet. Repeat on the other side.

If you are leaving the eel whole, remove and discard the head by cutting it off just behind the gills.