Barbecue Eel

bbq eel

Barbecue Eel

Despite having once been a main staple of nearly every colonial table the eel has all but disappeared from American cuisine. However, this strangest of freshwater fish is still popular in many cultures and its delicate, tasty flesh is not only high in nutrients but also easy to prepare.

Like many species of fish eel can be prepared in any number of ways including smoked, fried, stewed and even canned. But for today’s recipe I want to combine two American favorites – grilling and barbecue. One of my favorite things about this recipe is it can be made both at home or during a stream side camping trip with fresh caught eels.


1 lb eel steaks
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 clove garlic

1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard

In medium pot bring water, garlic and salt to a boil. Skewer each eel steak and place in boiling water, cooking for approximately 4 minutes or until meat begins to white but remains firm. Remove and drain.

In small saucepan combine ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, onion powder and mustard. Simmer over medium heat until brown sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Place eel skewers on hot grill and cook for approximately 3 minutes, flip and cook for additional 3 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce and cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for an additional minute. Repeat until sauce is slightly charred and meat is completely covered.

Serve over rice or with pasta.


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