Legendary Dishes | Jegulju Na Orizu (eels on rice)


Lake fish – carp, eels, perch, pike, trout – are one of the great delicacies of Europe. The Swiss will argue that their lake cuisine is unquestionably the most diverse. The Hungarians will question that haughty assumption. And the Montenegrins will shake their heads at these notions and suggest a visit to Lake Skadar. Shared with Albania, this basin of water sits inside the mountains that separate the Adriatic coastline from the Podgorica plain. Carp dishes predominate and grilled eel is popular, but it is eel on rice that attracts diners to lake shore restaurants, such as Kormoran. Here they serve traditional Montenegrin food in a pleasant house built with stone and wood.

This version is courtesy of Ivan Georgijev at Kormoran.

  • 1 kg eel, cut into 4 cm chunks
  • 300 g medium grain rice, parboiled
  • 200 g carrots, chopped
  • 200 g onions, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 10 g vegeta boullion powder
  • 5 g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 5 g salt
  • Olive oil, for frying and cooking
  • Water, for cooking

Dust eel pieces with salt, fry in oil in a frying pan over a high heat, two minutes each side, remove, set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan, and sauté carrots, garlic and onion, about ten minutes. Add rice, seasonings and spices, stir, reduce heat to low, adding three tablespoons of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, leave to rest. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spoon rice mixture into oiled baking tray, arrange eel chunks on top, splash each with a little oil. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with lemon juice.