Eel is a funky-looking fish that, it turns out, tastes quite good. It’s especially common in Japan and northern China but its popularity the last couple decades has begun to expand worldwide, too. (Because of this explosion and its effect on the wild population, it’s important to make sure that the eel you’re eating is sustainable, especially for the freshwater variety.)
There’s two types of eel in Japanese cuisine: freshwater river eel, also called unagi, and saltwater sea eel, or anago. Unagi is the more famous of the two. It’s richer, sweeter, and twice as fatty plus has more calcium and vitamins A, B, D, and E. That said, anago still is super tasty when you do it right — as a lighter, more delicate flavor, anago is ideal for simmering or frying in tempura. For unagi, on the other hand, a popular preparation is to flame grill it with a soy and sugar sauce and serve over rice, donburi-style.
We carry both canned and fresh eel at Uwajimaya, which you’ll find in our seafood department.
We carry cooked and seasoned vacuum packed unagi in a variety of sizes in our seafood department. Ready to eat canned eel can be found in our grocery department.