Eel with Dried Ginger, Garlic, and Chiles

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Liver Blood Stasis, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Wind Damp Obstructing Channels

Eel with Dried Ginger, Garlic, and Chiles

Ingredients:

  • 2 C basic tomato sauce
  • 1 C dry red wine
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs eel, skinned and gutted by your fishmonger, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 4-inch-long pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a large sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce, red wine, dried ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, season the eel with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish.
  4. Pour the sauce over the eel, put the dish in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the eel is cooked through. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve over rice or pasta with a side of steamed mustard greens.
  • Drink a glass of red wine with dinner.

TCM breakdown:

tomato: sweet, sour, cool; SP, ST, UB, KD; promotes fluids, clears heat, promotes urination, supplements KD
wine: acrid, sweet, warm; ST, LV, HRT; expels cold, invigorates blood, stops pain
dried ginger: acrid, hot; LU, SP, ST; warms interior, unblocks channels, transforms cold phlegm
garlic: acrid, hot; dispels cold, warms yang, removes stagnant food or blood, detoxifies seafood
chiles: acrid, hot; ST, LI; warms middle jiao, descends ST qi, expels damp & cold
eel: sweet, neutral; SP, ST; supplements qi & blood, eliminates wind-damp, invigorates blood, unblocks channels

Overall, this recipe is warm and acrid to invigorate blood and eliminate wind-damp-cold. The wine, dried ginger, garlic, and chiles increases the warmth of the tomato sauce, which is cool by nature. (The tomato sauce keeps the eel from drying out while baking.) Both the dried ginger and the eel specifically unblock channels, which makes this recipe suitable for patients with wind, cold, and/or damp in the channels causing obstruction and pain (bi syndrome). The garlic also detoxifies seafood.