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Unagi no Kabayaki


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Nothing better to do this afternoon so I decided to gut, fillet and grill my own eel and boy was it a whole lot of work

Here's the poor fella contemplating its future in my sink, cost $15 and probably about 1.5' in length and about 1.75lbs


After some struggle got him nailed ala Iron chef on the wayyy too short cutting board


15mins later and a bloody mess of slime and guts on my countertop and some mashed up fillet here is what's left of the backbone the head was amazingly still twitching at this point until I beheaded it.



1.5hrs later tadaaaaa... think I'll stick to the frozen $3.99 a pack precooked frozen eel in the future... too much trouble. :wacko:


Edited by SG- (log)
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Congratulations on your first attempt!  They look delicious.

Did you use store-bought kabayaki sauce?

What did you do with the liver and other guts?

Made the sauce myself too, soaked some konbu and then boiled the liquid with some mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar, dashi, slice of ginger and the eel carcass.

I grilled the liver lightly but tossed out the guts, wasn't sure what to do with it. I didn't have a recipe for anything and kinda of just went along piecing together past TV memories.

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Congratulations!!! That's not something I'd attempt from scratch...

I still vividly remember a friend's wrestle, long ago, with skinning and filleting an eel for some Italian New Year's dish. It was when I found out that the expression "slippery as an eel" has a basis in fact. :wacko:


"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Are those crab shells? What's in them?

Yes those are blue crab shells but with nothing in them other than brains and some roe, had some back up items grilled shrimp and crabs in case there wasn't enough eel to go around.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Nailing that eel to the board is so bad ass.  I've never seen that done outside of Iron Chef.  I'm hoping it actually tasted good.

Yeah it tasted good but personally too much effort. Furthermore I was a little scarred as a result of my poor execution of the eel (ended up being somewhat inhumane :sad: )

My advice if you're planning to do this, make sure you have lots of counter space, good material to grip the eel, RAZOR sharp knife and sever the spine ASAP!

Takes quite a bit before they're completely dead, also they make a grunting noise as you're killing them which will stay with you for a while.

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also they make a grunting noise as you're killing them which will stay with you for a while.

Yikes, this really calls for an audio file...just kidding.

Great work, at least you can say you did it once. And we can take comfort in knowing that this is a job best left to the pros.:biggrin:

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I have never dealt with an eel, but it sounds an awful lot like dispatching and cleaning a catfish, right down to the grunty noise.

When I do a catfish, I smack him in the head with a hammer, cut just thru the skin all the way around the body just below the gills, nail him to the tree, and use vise grips to grab the skin and peel it off. It takes muscle, especially for a big cat.

Outdoors--the tree is key. It means you have two hands free for pulling. Kinda hard on the tree however--them big city park police might fuss at you. :biggrin:

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