Sunday, 21 June 2009

Unagi (Eel)

One of my favourite Japanese dishes is unagi (eel). Traditionally it's a summer dish but I eat it all year round especially when I am in Hamamatsu, a city known for the freshest eel. In the best restaurants it is so fresh that they kill it to order, pulling one out of a barrel of water and wriggling eels, stripping off its skin, slicing it in half, sticking wooden skewers through it, dipping it in a treacly black sauce and putting it on a hot grill for about 10 minutes.

According to the Japanese, eel meat is very strong and eating too much eel will give you nosebleeds. But this is from a people who pass out at the smell of roast lamb. Itadakimasu! (Or 'I honourably receive'. In other words, Bon Apetit.)

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