LAWRENCE MURPHY: Add some smokiness to your salad

This floral dish enhances the rich and delicate taste of smoked eel
This floral dish enhances the rich and delicate taste of smoked eel
Ching-He Huang

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SMOKED EEL AND POTATO SALAD

Serves 4 as a starter

There are many people who would not consider eating jellied or smoked eel, as they have the image of a snake-like creature that is slimy and slightly weird.

If you can get that image out of your head I think you should give this tasty fish a go. A few weeks back, I served smoked eel as a part of an Alsace evening and many of the guests were surprised at how wonderful the fish tasted.

The flesh is slightly soft with a gelatinous smoky texture that is very rich and delicate at the same time.

Eels have a great history in Britain and can be traced back to the 18th century for jellied eel in London. The eel is chopped and boiled in a herby water and allowed to cool forming the famous jelly.

Unfortunately the eel is critically endangered mainly because of over-fishing, but there are some sustainable farmed sources that you can buy from.

Framed eels are smaller and more expensive than wild but at least you can eat them knowing the species is being helped to survive.

I would advise buying smoked eel in vac-packed portions where they have been skinned, boned and filleted.

Ingredients

200g smoked eel fillets

400g baby Jersey Royal potatoes

Mayonnaise

2 radishes

Small bunch chives

Tablespoon olive oil

Teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

Sea salt

Method

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for seven minutes until cooked and allow to cool.

2. Mix the olive oil and white balsamic together and add the potatoes. Season with sea salt.

3. Finely slice the radish and chop the chives.

4. Cut the eel into small pieces. Slice the radish as thinly as you can.

5. Arrange the potatoes on four plates with the mayonnaise.

6. Add the smoked eel and radish. Sprinkle over chives and serve.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. Visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.