Risotto with Eel: You’ll Be Surprised By This Unlikely Delicacy

Guido Pedrelli
Guido Pedrelli
Italian Cuisine Expert and Food Blogger
Guido Pedrelli
Guido Pedrelli, the mastermind behind Nonna Box, has honed his culinary expertise for decades, inspired by family feasts in Emilia-Romagna. Mentored by his restaurateur nonna, he mastered Italian classics and furthered his skills with professional culinary studies in desserts and gelato making from Mec3. Today, he shares this rich legacy and authentic recipes through Nonna Box.
Expertise: Italian cuisine, Pasta, Pizza, Pastry, Dessert

Eel is probably nor our favorite type of fish and risotto with eel is probably not the first thing we would be tempted to ask for in a restaurant. We like herrings, craps, tuna…but eels? They just look like a mix between a fish, a snake and a snail. Small, slimy, long, wriggling sea creatures–no, thanks. Well, we beg to differ and show some love for them. And yes, I get that eating them is not a particularly nice way to show love. But the thing is, they are not below any other type of fish you commonly eat.

They don’t have pelvic and pectoral fins, which is actually a plus, and they still offer the same omega-3 fatty acids that we are all supposed to get. Other nutrients it contains are calcium, zinc, iron, potassium–and this is just to mention a few. This fish is basically like those supplements you would buy your mother, because they contain all those vitamins and acids she needs–except, in a tastier package.

Believe it or not, risotto with eel is actually considered a delicacy, because some countries liked their eels a bit TOO much (Hello, Japan!), so their government had to ban them, as they now face extinction. That’s why their price is quite high and even if you would want to eat it often, you will probably only be able to do it sporadically. That being said, you need to try out this risotto with eel recipe, even if just for curiosity’s sake. Eels might be a novelty, but it’s still easy and quick to prepare and cook.

Risotto with eel might sound like a strange recipe, but it's worth trying.

Risotto with Eel Recipe

This risotto with eel recipe is simple and delicious. A perfect fish risotto recipe.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Risotto
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 685kcal


  • 600 g cleaned and skinned eels
  • 400 g Carnaroli rice
  • 1 dl 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • In a saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil with a clove of garlic; remove it when it becomes golden.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, leave them for a few minutes then add the eels cut into small pieces. Stir.
  • Add salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, then remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
  • In another pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, add the rice and stir.
  • After a few minutes, sprinkle the wine and let it evaporate.
  • Transfer the rice in the pan and cook the sauce dipping. If necessary, pour a little hot water.
  • When the risotto is almost cooked, mix in the pieces of eel.
  • In the end, the rice should be creamy. Remove from heat and serve.


If you want to make the rice ahead, use a rice cooker that has the risotto option.
Calories: 685kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 686mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5760IU | Vitamin C: 11.4mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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Did you end up being surprised by how good this risotto was?

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