We’ve got to admit; an eel isn’t the most appetizing animal when you look at a live one.
You might even mistake it for a snake if you’re unfamiliar or have never seen one before.
But what does eel sushi taste like? Will it actually taste better than your expectations? Well, we can guarantee that it certainly doesn’t taste bad.
So, check out this article to get an idea about eels and eel sushi if you’re planning to venture into the world of Japanese cuisine.
You’ll know what it takes like and why everyone is crazy about this food.
What is Eel Sushi?
As you might already know, sushi is a dish originally from Japan.
It typically contains seasoned rice with vegetables and seafood (mostly raw).
So, eel sushi is basically sushi containing cooked eel.
An eel is a long fish, measuring 5cm to 4m in length and 30gm to 25kg in weight.
Most species are nocturnal and live in mud, sand, or among rocks, so you’ll hardly see them in the water.
Eel in sushi is always cooked because raw eel (especially if it contains blood) is toxic for consumption.
Chefs usually use freshwater eel as a sushi ingredient, but saltwater eel tastes just as fine.
Besides being a delicious treat, eel sushi also offers many health benefits.
It contains potassium, zinc, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and iron.
Even if you’re conscious about your carbohydrate intake, you can eat eel sushi without doubting it.
Did you know? Japan consumes over 70% of the world’s total eel catch.
Besides eel sushi, Unadon is also a popular food in Japanese cuisine that contains eel.
What Does Eel Sushi Taste Like?
Before describing the taste of eel sushi, we must first let you know that there are two types- Saltwater eel and Freshwater eel.
There are about 400 species of eels; however, only five of them are common- European, Japanese, American, New Zealand, and Australian.
- Freshwater eel or Unagi.
The closest reference we can give is a chicken and lobster combination.
Eel sushi containing freshwater eel will have a firm texture, although not too hard.
Some say that eels have a bland taste, but we hardly agree.
The soft yet firm feel with a sweet taste makes eel meat very popular.
You could also say that eels taste like lobster, squid, or salmon and are pretty oily.
In fact, the eel has an exquisite taste.
Unlike other fish, you wouldn’t get the fishy/smelly aftertaste after eating saltwater eels.
- Saltwater eel or Anago.
Saltwater eels aren’t very different from freshwater eels, but their flavors sometimes vary because of the differences in the bodies and skins.
Compared to freshwater eels, their skin is thicker, and they have a tougher texture.
When it comes to the taste, saltwater eels aren’t as rich as their counterpart, but you’d still enjoy your eel sushi.
Also, saltwater eels are less oily than freshwater ones.
If you come across slightly bland-tasting eel sushi, you’re probably eating saltwater eel.
So, to sum it up, eel sushi tastes like lobster, chicken, raw salmon, or even squid, depending on the type of eel you’re eating.
When cooked properly, you’d enjoy tender and flavor-some meat wrapped with rice and an assortment of carefully sliced veggies.
How to Serve Eel Sushi?
If you’re a sushi lover, you’d surely want to try eel sushi, also called unagi nigiri.
Here are some crucial things to remember before preparing eel sushi-.
- Clean- Don’t skip the process of washing the eels thoroughly. Clean the skin and ensure that there is no blood.
- Peel the skin- Eel skin always has a layer of mucus, so we highly advise removing it as soon as possible. You can make a cut behind its gills using a sharp knife. Use a paper towel or wear gloves to have an easier time peeling.
- Cut the belly to remove its kidney and wash again to ensure that the eel doesn’t have trances of blood anywhere.
- Lastly, Cut them into any shape to make your delicious eel sushi.
You can make eel sushi in different ways.
It is a rich source of nutrients, inspiring food connoisseurs and chefs to devise creative ways to prepare it.
You can check out the Seared Unagi Nigiri Recipe by Great British Chefs, Grilled Eel Sushi Recipe by Group Recipes, Unagi Sushi Recipe by The Heirloom Panty, and many more online to find your inspiration.
So, that’s our take on eel sushi.
We hope that this short description helped you understand better what this Japanese delicacy tastes like.
It truly is one of the healthiest and tastiest seafoods you can find out there if you’re feeling adventurous.
Now all you have to do is find yourself a place to buy eel meat from.
You can get eels that are already dressed or prepare them yourself using the method mentioned above.
With the proper cleaning and cooking method, you’d have a wonderful plate of eel sushi for your meal.