Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anago (Conger Eel)

Conger eel (Conger myriaster). アナゴ、穴子。

Also called "Japanese conger." Usually 35-50 cm, but can grow up to 1 meter in length. Looks like an ordinary eel. Has conspicuous white dots along its body.

The name means "child of the hole," because these eels like to bury themselves in the sandy sea bottom with only their heads jutting out, or hide in dark crevices. Found in waters around Japan, Korea and in the East China Sea. Best from June to August ("Rainy Season delicacy").

Delicious as a topping on sushi (often after being boiled in seasoned stock, but anago is also eaten raw) or as tempura. Melts in the mouth with a savory sweetness. One of the favorite ingredients of sushi chefs. Conger eel is less oily than unagi. Kuro-anago, a black variety, grows up to one meter and is mainly used in kamaboko fish paste. Now that unagi (eel) is getting scarce and very expensive, anago is a good replacement.

Tempura of Anago, Conger eel

[Tempura of Conger eel]