In Japanese, the term “anago“ refers to sea or saltwater eels belonging to the genus Congridae. In a culinary context, the collective term anago regularly refers, among other conger eels, to the white-spotted conger eel, whose Japanese name is maanago, which translates as “true conger eel“.
Anago is counted among the traditional representatives of the cooked sushi ingredients (nimono-dane). Therefore, prepared anago sushi is also often called ni-anago-sushi (煮穴子寿司). The broth that results from cooking the anago meat is boiled down, refined, and then used to glaze the meat. This tasty salty sweet sauce is called nitsume (煮め) and is an essential part of the taste experience when eating anago nigiri sushi.
The meat is so soft that it almost falls apart and offers a full-bodied sweet taste. The texture is extremely pleasant and melts on the tongue. Anago harmonizes very well with vinegared sushi rice and is traditionally preferred over freshwater eel (unagi) for the preparation of sushi. In contrast to unagi, aanago is less greasy, sweeter and has a finer taste.
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