Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eating Eel

I'm on vacation, or actually, on a family visit to Michigan. My oldest son, an avid road bicylist, recently moved to a new home and we had to come see it. It's in Northville, a picturesque older suburb of Detroit.

Last night we went to dinner with Kevin and his girlfriend at a French/Japanese restuarant that lived in a beatiful old mansion with center staircase and stained glass windows. The menu was eclectic, to say the least. Plenty of fresh-made sushi choices, some Korean-influenced dishes with kimchee on the side, miso soup, plus the traditional filet mignon and scallops, etc. Tables were spaced reasonably far apart in large upstairs rooms where we were seated, and wait staff appeared to be Japanese for the most part. We were not rushed. It was quite pleasant.

When the menus came, my son's girlfriend said that they had a little bet about my choice of entree, and she giggled. I began to worry. Then I saw it - eel! I really had no choice, and she said, "I told you so", when I ordered it. She knew that I'm a gastronomic risk taker, and this was something new for me.

The waitress brought me a black laquered box with a removable top. When I opened it I found several long strips of eel with the skin on. The eel had been cooked in some kind of sauce that darkened it. The eel was sitting on a bed of sticky white rice that filled the rest of the box, except for one corner where a small pile of cabbage rested. I took a bite of the dark fish...

Eel is very mild. It needed the sauce it was cooked in. I ate the top skin but not the bottom skin. Perfectly acceptable! The cabbage had a big time kick to it, but it, too, was edible. There was soy sauce on the side, so one could make a bite of eel and rice seasoned with soy sauce. I finished all the eel and most of the rice. Mission accomplished.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I'm jealous. I've never tried eel that way. What was it called? I've got to try it. I normally get it as a nigiri sushi choice which is broiled lightly and washed with a somewhat sweet sauce. Your's sounds better.