Eels are one of the most fascinating marine animals in the world and have a very specific appearance. Not only is it an extraordinary creature, but is widely consumed, and is a major part of Japanese cuisine. But what does Eel taste like? This is a question many people that are hesitant about eating it ask, and that is what we will be exploring.
Even though Eels are one of the creatures that emit electricity, that isn’t a concern when you are actually in the process of eating them. Also, this might shock many, but Eels have over 800 species, and that is one heck of a number. Not every kind of Eel is served in restaurants, and you should leave professional outlets to serve you that. Some species in the Eel family aren’t edible and should be avoided.
What does Eel taste like? – Things to consider!
Now that we know a bit about Eels and how many species there are, the next logical question before eating it, is what does Eel taste like really? Well, Eel is served in different types of dishes, and some people even prefer eating raw Eel meat. We will be going over the more popular ways Eel is served, and available at most Japanese restaurants. Now, you don’t have to visit Japan to eat Eel, as many local Japanese establishments serve it too. It might be a bit expensive, but it is worth it depending on your taste.
Unagi – The most common dish!
Unagi is the most common form of Eel served and used as an ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It is usually served on its own, and that certain preparation of this is known as Kabayaki. This is an ancient dish and has been recorded to be served back in the 1800s, but it is safe to assume that it was served even before that. It is also served in the form of an Eel bowl, which is referred to as the Unadon. Another way to serve is with a bowl of boiled, and that dish is called the Donburi.
Now, all of these use Eel traditionally due to its flavor. So, what does Unagi taste like? Well, according to many people that have already eaten it, or eat it daily comment that it is very rich in flavor. It is described close to something like white fish, and bass. It also has a unique sweet flavor that is a bit hard to detect, but if cooked properly, you will notice it. Apart from this, if the Unagi is properly cooked, there is also a soft, flaky, and fluffy feel of the dish in your mouth, and unlike most fishes, there is a lack of an after taste.
What does eel taste like raw – Not recommended!
Now, if you have had any type of sushi, you might be wondering if Eel falls in a similar category where it can eat raw. But, what does eel taste like raw? And sadly, unlike much other marine life, the taste is pretty unpleasant and unsavory. Many experts don’t recommend eating the fish in its raw form, and it is not just because of the meaty raw flavor, but because of the various parasites that are part of the Eel.
There is also the consideration of its blood, which is poisonous in some species. If you are unsure about the exact species of the eel, then you shouldn’t eat it raw in any case. Some eels are so hazardous in their content; they can even cause food poisoning, and in rare cases, actual deaths. If you are someone that is fishing and has come across a fish, then it is seriously advised to not consume it raw. Now, if you are at a restaurant that specializes in Eel, then it is completely safe to eat Eel, and all the various dishes it is part of. It is very rich in Protein when cooked properly, and can be very beneficial for one’s health.
You will never find a place that serves raw eel. If by some chance you do, it is recommended that you steer clear of that establishment since they are taking a major risk by serving seafood in its improper form.
What does Jellied Eel taste like? – An acquired taste!
Now, let us move away from Japan for a second, and travel to the UK for a bit. Eel is served in the UK quite a bit; many people enjoy it in a very particular dish, which is known as Jellied Eel. But, what does Jellied Eel taste like? This is an English dish that originated in the 18th century and has chopped up Eel, which is boiled in a spiced stock, which is then set to cool. After a layer of jelly forms around it, the dish is served cold. This is an unusual dish, and some people might be put off by how it looks. Its taste can be a bit offputting, but the actual meat of the dish is very salty; if you give it a go, it is also fairly decent. It is very different from regular fish, and only one bone to work with.
So, what does Eel taste like? Well, we looked over three types from different continents. First, the Unagi, which is a special serving of dish, that is very common in Japan. It tastes great and resembles white fish when it comes to the texture. It also has a distinct quality of not leaving an aftertaste if cooked properly.
Raw Eel should never be consumed, as there are over 800 species of Eel, and a lot of those have poisonous content in their blood. Always eat Eel that is cook properly to avoid any damage. Lastly, Jellied Eel is a dish from the UK and is an acquired taste, but very good once you get to the meat of it. There is still a lot of flavor in it, and it is served cold.