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Braised River Eel (红烧河鳗)

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Braised River Eel is a seafood dish which is popular not only in Shanghai but also in other parts of the world, where this delicacy can be easily found on the menus of various restaurants. The list of ingredients is rather rich, as it contains: live eel, oil, chopped onion, minced garlic, red or white wine, peeled and chopped tomatoes, herbs such as fresh parsley, garlic shoots, celery, salt and pepper to taste. Preparation is not complicated as the tail and the head of the eel are cut off, the entrails are removed and the meat is cut into slices, discarding the bone. The oil is heated in a pan, after what onion, garlic and fresh herbs are added and cooked over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Tomatoes are seasoned with salt and pepper and ultimately added to the mixture. Finally, eel pieces are added and cooked for at least 5 minutes, after what wine is poured in and simmered over low heat for about 35 minutes until the eels become soft and juicy. Water is added if necessary. It can be decorated with fresh parsley, celery and optionally sprinkled with cheese.

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