Unagi Also called unagi, freshwater eel is a very common type of fish used in sushi rolls.
Which species of eel is used in sushi?
Unagi vs. anago – July 20, 2016 My favorite restaurant experience goes something like this: I suggest an omakase-only sushi restaurant in New York City for dinner to a friend and his girlfriend. The two dine there and enjoy it immensely, with one notable exception.
- Shortly thereafter, my friend exclaims to me with equal parts excitement and shock, “Dude, they served us seal!” “Anne was hesitant to consume it, so I ate her portion,” he continues.
- Quite unique and excellent!” In all my years of sushi consumption, I had never seen seal on the menu.
- Is it legal to consume seal? Confusion abounds.
There must be a problem here. After a call to the chef and several chuckles, we have the answer. The adorable, fin-footed, zoo-favorite mammal was not, as suspected, consumed by the couple. The component responsible for the error? Sea eel, or Anago, as it is commonly known in English.
- Laugh it up! My friend’s humorous error reveals a widespread unfamiliarity with “another” type of eel.
- In Japanese cuisine, two types of eel are prepared: unagi (freshwater eel) and anago (seawater eel).
- The former is what the vast majority of people immediately associate with “eel”; it can be found in virtually all sushi restaurants.
However, it should not be confused with its counterpart in seawater; there are numerous distinctions. The differences between the two eel species are centered on flavor and texture. “Unagi is always richer and fattier than anago,” says Masashi Ito, chef and proprietor of the popular New York City sushi restaurant Sushi Zo.
Anago is typically leaner, but very fluffy.” Chef Isao Yamada of the renowned restaurant Brushstroke in the city concurs. “Compared to rich unagi, anago can be bland, but it has a delicate and light flavor,” he says. Yamada describes unagi as having dark gray, nearly black-colored skin, whereas anago is brownish with white spots on its side and under its dorsal fin.
Unagi’s tails are similarly rounded, whereas anago’s are pointed. Both chefs are quick to point out that while anago spends its entire life in the ocean, unagi lays its eggs in the ocean and its young migrate to rivers and streams to mature. Brushstroke’s hitsumabushi is grilled unagi served over rice with shiso leaves and a pot of tea or dashi.
Due to the fact that the two species differ in flavor, there are numerous preparation methods. Ito states that unagi is typically served with a bowl of steamed rice. “Anago is typically prepared as sushi or a roll.” Yamada notes that unagi is typically prepared by grilling, while anago is typically prepared by simmering.
Unagi is frequently prepared as kaba-yaki (grilled with sweet soy sauce) and shiro-yaki (grilled with salt and served with wasabi.) According to Yamada, in addition to containing twice as much fat as anago, unagi contains five times as much vitamin A and is richer in vitamins B1, B2, D, E, and calcium.
This is the most common type of eel consumed in Korea, and it is frequently served as a side dish at modern raw fish restaurants. This eel is readily available year-round in Korea, making it the cheapest option. The body is thicker than that of other species, so more food is available.
- Bungjangeo is also frequently consumed raw.
- Because it is so simple for anyone to enjoy this eel raw, it is also known as a dish that introduces people to raw fish.
- However, many southern coastal villages prepare a spicy soup with it.
- This soup was once the staple for fishermen returning from a lengthy fishing trip.
Therefore, many of the popular restaurants that serve this soup are located near ports and are open at dawn. Typically, a bowl costs 10,000 won. In Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang, the soup is made with spinach and doenjang, or fermented bean paste, whereas in South Jeolla it is typically red and spicy.
- Baemjangeo Baemjangeo, a species of anguillid eel also known as Japanese eel, spends a portion of its life in freshwater rivers, whereas the other types of eels listed live in the ocean.
- Many people enjoy consuming bungjangeo in a fiery soup.
- By Jun Eun-seon Therefore, all locations known for baemjangeo dishes are river mouths.
Famous for their grilled baemjangeo are Gochang in North Jeolla, Gangjin and Naju in South Jeolla, Jinju in South Gyeongsang, and Paju in Gyeonggi. Baemjangeo is grilled with either salt or a spicy sauce. By Lim Hyun-dong However, as wild baemjangeo becomes more expensive and more difficult to catch in rivers, many restaurants now serve farmed eel.
What is the most prevalent species of eel?
He tested the theory by injecting dogs with eel blood serum, which is blood devoid of cells and clotting factors. Instead of a protective effect, or prophylaxis, from the initial exposure, he discovered a significantly exacerbated and frequently fatal reaction, anaphylaxis.
This type of reaction is also observed in individuals who experience dangerous allergic reactions to substances such as bee stings. Understanding the phenomenon is essential to the field of immunology. This work earned Richet the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1913. Ask Dr. Knowledge is written by John Swain, a physicist at Northeastern University.
Send questions to Dr. Knowledge via email or by mail to The Boston Globe, PO Box 55819, Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5819. Copyright 2011 The Globe Newspaper: Always serve eel cooked. Why is this so?