Filleting of Eel

Portion of eel fillets
Eel fillets in suitable portions.

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Hi, I am a German Chef and Food Photographer. The imparting of cooking knowledge is my great passion. Everyone can cook for himself and with this website I would like to contribute to its success. Cooking questions I answer you gladly at the end of the articles. Have fun and good luck!

In this article I will show you step by step how to cut and fillet smoked eel. The smoked eel belongs to these “almost forgotten” specialties and is not to be found in the supermarket. This is mostly an indication for consumers with a distinct taste, so feel flattered!

I like to use smoked eel as a garnish in a soup, here the eel can develop its full flavour and delight the palate. I also like to cook eel soup, but be careful when guests come, not everyone appreciates eel as a delicacy.

1. What to consider when filleting Eel

If the eel comes fresh from the smoking oven, it is easier to fillet. You can then cut the eel fillets with a cross section from the side of the severed head, the knife lying horizontally on the middle bone, pulling it backwards.

If you buy the eel vacuum-sealed, it is sealed relatively tightly in a plastic bag. The meat is then firmer and filleting is not quite as easy. Another factor is the size of the eel: a small eel is harder to fillet than a larger eel.

So here I show you two ways to fillet an eel…

Kale soup with smoked eel and smoked foam
The kale soup with smoked eel I show you in another article! © Thomas Sixt Food Photographer
Hamburg eel soup
Typical Hamburg Eel Soup recipe I show in another post.

2. Eel filleting the first Method

Let’s start with the filleting of a small, previously vacuumed eel…

Smoked eel
Unpack the eel and place on a large board.
Cut off the head of the smoked eel
Cut off the head from the smoked eel.
Peel off the smoked eel skin
Carefully peel the skin off the eel.
Cleaning the eel
Carefully scrape off the black remains of the skin with a knife.
Skinless eel
This is what the “cleaned eel” looks like without skin. Place the knife in the middle of the fillet and divide the fillet.
Peel off the eel fillets
Using your fingers, carefully peel the eel fillets from the head side to the end of the tail.
Eel fillets raised
The peeled eel fillets on the board.
Eel fillets close-up
Check the eel fillets again for bones!
Portion of eel fillets
Eel fillets in suitable portions. Then cut the eel fillets into suitable portions.
Smoked eel leftovers
I use the leftovers from the smoked eel to prepare smoked eel stock.

3. Classical filleting Method with Cooking Video

I have found a well made video for this…

4. Recipes Ideas for Eel

Eel soup

Kale soup with eel

Potato soup

5. More Cooking Tips