Only in Japan could you go to the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon to find two men, each wielding a stake and a big knife, working their way through a tank of live eels.
The process was: grab a live eel, stab it through the head to anchor it to the chopping board (and to stop it writing around and falling on the floor), make one cut to take the top fillet off, chuck the organs in a small tray, make another cut to get the bottom fillet off, and move onto the next eel. Really interesting to see, and totally unexpected to actually have them do it on the main shop floor.
The packs in front of them are unagi – grilled eel that has been basted in sweet soya sauce. It is believed that eating eel gives one strength to deal with the hot summer weather, hence the fact that they are being promoted in-store now, as it’s been about 30 degrees this past week.