Ioannina

Freshwater eel on the tile

Traditional Ioannite baked eel made with a special technique.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Freshwater eel on the tile
Before cooking...

The European eel of Lake Pamvotida has always been a favorite fish delicacy for the people of Ioannina. In fact, the locals cooked it in a unique manner. They baked it on a ceramic tile (folded in two like a horseshoe), a technique many local restaurants still boast today.

Freshwater eel on the tile

Ingredients

  • 1 thick freshwater eel
  • 200 gr corn flour
  • 90 gr water
  • 3 dried laurel leaves
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • Salt (to preference)
  • Pepper (to preference)

Execution

  1. In a bowl, mix the corn flour and the water until you have a dough-like mixture.
  2. Remove the eel’s skin with a knife and carve consecutive deep cuts on the flesh.
  3. Set the oven to “upper and lower heat” and preheat it to 150 °C.
  4. In a small baking pan, spread the dough and lay the eel on top. Spread the dried laurel leaves on the eel, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the pan on the lower rack and bake for 1 hour (approximately).
  6. Serve the tile-baked eel hot with a shot of local tsipouro.

This dish is one of the most flavorful and nutritious fish-based delicacies you’ll ever taste, no matter how you cook it. However, to honor the Ioannite tradition, simply find an old ceramic tile and use some of the dough to close its open ends, like a proper pan.

After cooking...

On the anonymous island in the Lake of Ioannina, there is a little old-timey fishing settlement that hasn’t changed much throughout the centuries. The village’s few permanent residents still live in the traditional Epirotic stone houses with the grey slate roofs. Their picturesque flower-adorned front yards touch the lake waters, where locals moor the triangular boats that ferry them across to the modern world and back.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking...