In Japan, the traditional accompaniment to
broiled eel (Jp. unagi) is a small bowl of kimosui (肝吸い),
eel liver soup.
An eel's liver is one of the nastier-looking things I've encountered
at the dinner table. Have you ever seen a diagram of the
human digestive system, starting with the esophagus, then the
big bulge of the stomach sac, tapering into the intestines?
Well, color it a uniform shiny gray, shrink it down
to 5 centimeters in length and add in a few
random appendages, and you'll have a fair idea of what lurks at
the bottom of a bowl of kimosui. Not the kind of thing
you expect to chopstick out of your average cup of miso, I assure
Just the same, in this particular instance it pays not to judge
a book by its cover, or an eel by its liver. Should you happen to
like the livers of larger animals, odds are you'll find the eel version
to be quite tasty as well. Even if I do still like the rest of the