Another popular seafood dish in Albania is eel. Even now as I type this, my mind is drifting off in my memory to a restaurant in the Rozafa Castle in Shkoder where I ate the best eel in Albania.
- 2–5 pounds cleaned and cut eel
- Coarse salt
- Black pepper
- 1–2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2–3 cups sunflower, corn, or canola oil
- Several bay leaves (optional)
- Lemon wedges (optional)
The eels need to be cleaned well before cooking, and this entails removing the eel skins. I still don’t know how to do this myself, even though as a child I helped my mom strip the skins off of fresh eels. The butcher at your seafood shop can do this for you, and they can even cut the eels into 3–5-inch pieces, too. I recommend asking your butcher to help you so that you don’t even have to look at the snake-like shapes of whole eels!
Season the pieces of eel with salt and pepper, dredge them in the flour, and fry them in hot oil. Only fry a few pieces at a time so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll know they’re done when they turn golden brown on the outside.
Drain the cooked eel on paper towels to absorb any grease. Place bay leaves in-between the cooked pieces (you’ll need to remove the bay leaves before serving).
Squeeze a lemon over the top of the fried eel, if desired, and serve your finished fried eel while it’s still piping hot.