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Freshwater eel (Anguilla rostrata)

Freshwater eel
Freshwater eel

Scientific name for Freshwater eel

Anguilla rostrata

Common name(s) for Freshwater eel

American eel, common eel, Atlantic eel, silver eel

Market name

Freshwater eel

Other language names for Freshwater eel

  • French: Anguille Américaine
  • German: Amerikanischer Aal
  • Italian: Anguilla Americana
  • Japanese: Unagi
  • Spanish: Anguila Americana

Introduction to Freshwater eel

American eels are one of 15 closely related snakelike fish species, which also include the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and eels found in tropical or subtropical rivers that reach the Pacific or Indian seas. Catadromous eels breed in the ocean but mature in fresh water. The majority of eels are captured during their freshwater stage. While both American and European eels breed in the Sargasso Sea, they return to their native waters as distinct populations. The American eel is found in coastal rivers from Greenland to the Gulf of Mexico and is abundant in the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The American eel fishery is divided into two segments. One is for two-inch-long young eels (dubbed “glass eels” or “elvers”) that are netted from estuaries and saline bays to feed Asian and European aquaculture. The second harvests mature eels as they migrate downSteam to spawn using weirs, pots, and dip nets.

Product Profile for Freshwater eel

Eel flesh has a solid texture, a lot of fat, and a strong, unique flavor. The uncooked meat is gray, but when cooked, it becomes white and flakes. If you buy eel when it’s still alive, the meat will be tender. If maintained in a wet atmosphere, the creatures may survive for several days without water. Eels collected from stagnant water or kept in tanks for too long might have a muddy flavor.

Nutrition for Freshwater eel


Calories: 184
Fat Calories: 101.7
Total Fat: 11.6 g
Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 126 mg
Sodium: 51 mg
Protein: 18.4 g
Omega 3: 0.2 g

Cooking tips for Freshwater eel

Use cooking methods for eel that assist to remove some of the oil. Instead of using heavy sauces that compete with the rich flavor of the meat, use acidic accompaniments to help balance out the fat. Eel is good simmered in a stew. Serve it cooked, not raw, even if it’s in sushi or unagi. Normally, elvers are cooked whole. The skinless H&G eel is generally filleted or sliced into 2 inch pieces.

Cooking methods for Freshwater eel

Grill , Poach, Smoke , Steam

Primary Product Forms for Freshwater eel

Live: Fresh, Whole, H&G (skinned and skinless), Steaks, Fillets

Frozen: H&G, Steaks, Fillets

Value-added: Smoked, Jellied, Cured

Global Supply for Freshwater eel

Canada, China, Greenland, Japan, Taiwan, United States, Iran