A classic East London Stewed Eels recipe.
Eel recipes? You heard! Eel recipes seem to be on the decline in the UK which is a shame – so here’s my stewed eels recipe for the old school amongst us.
If you’re reading this from outside the UK, are eel recipes popular in your country, especially stewed eels or jellied eels? I get the feeling jellied eels or stewed eels in parsley sauce may be a purely British love affair.
I doubt our American friends would be seen sucking the jelly from a stewed eel, but I may be wrong. I know that our Asian counterparts still enjoy eel, especially around China and Japan.
My first memory of eating eels was as a kid when my dad took me to a pie and mash shop in East London. We sat down in a booth, ordered our pie and mash (with liquor of course) and then another dish was served.
It was a bowl full of their delicious parsley sauce but something was floating in it – it was only a bloody eel!
Well, not one to turn away a free lunch, I picked out a warm eel and scoffed it. Needless to say, I was hooked immediately. So here is my stewed eel recipe.
Even now, 30 years on I still love a bowl of jellied eels or stewed eels. A dash of chilli vinegar, a polystyrene tub and a talkative fish stall owner is all I need to while away a morning somewhere.
Want a different fish recipe?
If you haven’t ever eaten eel, you should. They are a remarkable creature and they taste good. The skin is a little chewy and gelatinous while the white meat is firm and succulent. I think people get put off by the idea of eel opposed to the eel itself.
Trying to buy fresh or live eels to cook from scratch in the UK is actually quite tough to do. Even if I did manage to get my hands on one of those slipperly suckers I doubt I’d have a clue how to prepare it. So for my stewed eels recipe I use jellied eels – thank fully you can get these everywhere.
Eel Recipes – Stewed Eels
200g jellied eels
2 tbl cockles or winkles (optional)
1 tsp malt vinegar
30g finely chopped parsley
1 tbl cornflour
Pinch cayenne pepper
Eel Recipes – Stewed Eels Method:
- Tip just the jelly from your jellied eels into a pan and add the parsley and season well with lots of ground black pepper and bring to a light simmer.
- Once simmering add the cornflour (dissolved first in a dash of water) and the vinegar. Stir continuously until the liquid has thickened. If it’s too thick just add a dash of water.
- Now add the eels and cockles or winkles. Bring to a simmer then turn off (if using raw winkles add them at the start to cook – the cockles are usually already cooked).
- Now it’s done, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil, pinch of cayenne pepper and taste for more seasoning or vinegar.
Goes well with some bread!