Eel Species 2: Anago/Conger Eel

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Anago or Conger Eel, a favourite all over Japan, do come in many varieties, some edible, some not.
As for the edible varieties, I will prepare a special posting!

The most popular conger eel in Japan is “Maanago” (“True Conger Eel”).
It is also called “Anago”, “Hakarime” and “Hamo” (although this particular kind should be treated separately)
Summer is the best season, although they are available all year round in Sushi restaurants.
They are mainly caught in Tokyo Bay, Jyowata Bay and Seto Sea.
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Most Japanese appreciate them first boiled in broth then cooked on a grill over charcoal fire and then dipped in tare.
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As for nigiri, they come in many gusises: topped with “tare” (sauce) or just with a light brush of shoyu (see above pics)
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Or a bit on the crispy side, or on the very soft and melting one (see above pics)
It basically depends on the chef’s skills and preferences.

One should not forget they also taste great as tempura, including the bones, a particular favourite of mine!
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Samples with bright skin transaprent flesh are the best.
Imports from China and Korea have increased recently, although Japan is starting putting strong regulations to protect the species.
As for Shizuoka Prefecture, we do have access to fresh fish. Select your sushi restaurant accordingly!

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