Preview of Delights at Kata Robata's July 29 Eel Extravaganza

As reported on Friday on EOW, Kata Robata is set to celebrate Doyo-no-ushinohi, Tuesday, July 29, with a one day-only special menu of delicacies featuring freshwater eel. The holiday marks the first day of the period of the Ox and tradition dictates consuming foods whose names begin with a "u," i.e. unagi (freshwater eel).

Acclaimed Chef Horiuchi gave the Houston Press a preview of some of the dishes set to be available as well as a brief tutorial on the difference between fresh-water and saltwater eels and a demonstration of fileting techniques.

First came a palate-opener in the form of a smoky, citrus soup whose broth included succulent pieces of freshwater eel liver. Its warm ocean flavors prepared our mouths for a second course of grilled unagi accompanied by razor-thin slices of Japanese cucumber and seaweed tossed in an aromatic vinaigrette.

The buttery fish flesh laced with just a hint of charcoal spice left a most pleasant carbon footprint that only intensified a craving for more eel.

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Joanna O'Leary