The largest species of eel found in European waters, growing up to three meters in length the Conger is relatively common around British shores living amongst rocks and hiding inside shipwrecks. Rarely taken home for eating, congers usually go back when caught by fishermen.
Our European cousins seem to like these slippery predators so commercially caught eels go to mainly the French and Spanish. However, they make really good meals with their firm flesh and distinctive taste. This makes them particularly suitable for Portuguese Caldeira or French bouillabaisse style cooking.
Strap congers, which are small immature eels, have been caught in increasing numbers over recent years. My sons and I regularly catch them on fishing trips from the south coast.
These size eels are ideal for cooking and a single eel will easily give 8-10 steaks.
Large eels up to 90lb (40kg) are regularly caught on the Brighton based boats. On our latest trip in October 2021, the eel in the picture below came aboard eventually after a prolonged tug of war.
Other Recipes You Maybe Interested in …..
I am on a mission to raise the culinary profile of the conger eel. So I have collected together some really great recipes which bring out the best in this impressive fish.
Conger Eel with an Aromatic Crust
- 1 kg Conger eel steaks
- 1 Lemon sliced
- 1 Lemon juiced
- fresh flat-leaf parsley to taste
- 4 cloves Garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Thyme to taste
- 2 tbsp Breadcrumbs
- 200 ml Olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Put the fish on a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon slices. Let it marinate for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Drizzle the fish with 150 ml of the olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes. Occasionally, drizzle the fish with the sauce.
- Meanwhile, put the parsley and the garlic in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Put the mixture in a bowl, add the breadcrumbs and thyme and mix all ingredients.
- Briefly remove the fish from the oven, sprinkle with the previous mixture and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Put the fish back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the crust starts to turn golden brown.
- Serve with roasted potatoes.
You may also like …
These recipes use conger steaks, not fillets so no skinning is necessary:
The following recipes use fillets so your eel needs to be prepared. We can show you how to skin and fillet a conger.
Please observe minimum size limits when fishing.
Use a measure like this one from Tronixpro.