How Do You Fillet a Whole Smoked Eel?

Filleting a whole smoked eel might seem like an intimidating process, but with a few simple steps, you can master this technique and enjoy the delicious results. Here's a handy guide to help you fillet a smoked eel and make the most of the leftovers once the eel is prepared.

The smoked eel filleting process

Many chefs prefer to work with the whole eel, appreciating its authenticity and the robust flavour it brings to dishes. Filleting a smoked eel is straightforward, requiring just a filleting knife and a spoon.

Preparation: place the smoked eel on a clean surface with its back facing you. Make sure the skin is still on.

Initial cut: Using a sharp knife, make an incision through the skin midway along the eel, close to the backbone. This is your starting point.

Running the knife: Carefully run the knife along the backbone towards the tail. This helps in separating the fillet from the main bone structure.

Cutting towards the head: Bring the knife back to the initial incision and run it along the gut cavity towards the head, cutting away the fillet as you go.

Removing the backbone: Lift the backbone away from the bottom fillet. This should come away cleanly, leaving you with two fillets.

Skinning: Lay the fillets skin-side down. Using a large spoon, start from the tail and scrape the meat away from the skin. This method ensures you get the most meat with minimal wastage.

smoked eel egg and asparagus

Making the most of leftovers

Don't throw away the leftovers! The bones and smoky skin from your smoked eel can be transformed into a delicious broth or soup. Simply boil the bones and skin with water, ginger, and chili to create a flavourful base. This broth can be the foundation for a ramen-style soup, offering a smoky depth of flavour that enhances every bite.

The smoky eel broth is versatile and can be used in various recipes. Add noodles, vegetables, and your choice of protein for a hearty meal. You can also use it as a base for other soups or sauces, imparting a unique flavour that will elevate your dishes. 

How can we help?

By following these steps, you can enjoy the full culinary potential of a whole smoked eel, making sure nothing goes to waste and enhancing your dishes with rich, smoky flavours. If you’d like to find out more about our range of smoked eel products, then please do get in touch, or click the link below for all your wholesale enquiries.

Visit our wholesale page

Posted by Jessica on May 23rd 2024

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