Friday, December 14, 2012

Slip Sliding Away

click for larger image

Some folks don’t like fish. That’s just silly. Perhaps they don’t like the bones or the scales.

In which case, they should eat eels instead.

It’s really easy to cook an eel. First, you must live near a fishmonger who can procure you a fresh one, because they are oily and spoil quickly. By “fresh,” I mean “live.” You’re going to have to kill it before you eat it, because it will thrash about quite a bit if you try to eat it otherwise.

Grab the eel’s head with a cloth and hold it tightly. With your other hand, plunge a sharp knife into its brains. Don’t worry if the eel continues to twitch for several minutes after this — that’s normal. Anyone would twitch after someone has jammed a blade into their head. You can’t blame it. Just make sure that before you plan to kill the eel, you don’t have something on the stove or anything you need your hands for.

Once you’re sure the eel is dead, you’ll need to pull the knife out and cut all around its head. Then take some pliers and pull back a flap of the tough skin. Once there’s enough to grab, hold the eel’s head in your cloth and peel the skin off its body like a stocking. It’ll be mighty slippery. After this, decapitate the head. Ta-da! Your eel is now ready for clopping up and making a delicious dinner with.

For example, you could serve this yummy-looking egg and eel stew, which is served cold.

Fish, TIME LIFE Books, 1979
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