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. It is rarely eaten and usually chucked back when caught by fishermen.
Eels caught by UK boats for sport that are not returned are exported to the EU as we Brits are not fond of these slippery predators. 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 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.
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Recipe – Conger Eel with an Aromatic Crust
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
- Juice of one lemon
- 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.
Try one of these recipes from my cookbook …
These recipes use conger steaks not fillets so no skinning is necessary:
The following recipes use fillets of conger 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.