Old Fisherman Roast Eel Chili


There’s a bit of zip to each of the Old Fisherman tinned eel products, but this one — Roast Eel Chili — is the zippiest. If you’re a real hot head you’ll probably want to add some heat to these, but they have a great flavor.

Mix into a bowl of rice and top with freshly sliced scallions and a bit of Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp and you’ll be hooked.

100g (3.5 oz) tin

Pictured on bamboo rice with seaweed gomasio.

In stock

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Ingredients: Conger Eel, Water, Sugar, Capsicum, Soy Sauce (Water, Soy Bean, Wheat, Salt, Sugar), BBQ Powder (Dry of Shallot, Sesame, Coconut Powder, Ginger Powder, Garlic, Shrimp, Chili Powder, Salt, Anise, Cinnamon, Fennel, Pepper Powder), Salt, Soybean Oil, Licorice Powder, Capsicum Powder, Herbs Powder (Cinnamon, Clove, Galanga Resurrectionlily, Licorice, Cumin), Zanthoxylum Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Pepper Powder, Monosodium Glutamate.


  1. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Old Fisherman has done it again, another 5 star tin. It’s as if you took the original flavor, added the perfect amount of chili crisp (minus the crisp) and let it soak for a little while. Texture is the exact same as all the Old Fisherman eel, I affectionately refer to it as barely candied fish jerky. Spice level, I’d call it a 3/5 – it’s noticeable, it builds up slowly but it’s simply at a wonderful medium level to balance out the sweetness of the sauce. I can’t believe it’s this inexpensive. If you’re reading this, you really need to try at least one of these roasted eel varieties.

    My Old Fisherman Eel rankings:
    1: Fermented beans (if you add chili crisp)
    2 (tie): Chili
    2 (tie): Black pepper
    3: Fermented beans (without chili crisp)
    4: Original

  2. Greg L (verified owner)

    This is a pretty good tin. If you like eel and chili, this is an easy recommendation. The texture and flavor of the eel is quite consistent across the three tins of Old Fisherman Eel that I’ve had (black pepper, fermented black bean, and this). A noticeable difference with this tin, though, was that there were several more backbones than eels in the tin. Maybe a 3-to-1 ration of counted backbones to counted eel. YMMV. However, I enjoyed that it brought an interesting textural dynamic, where otherwise the texture of the eel alone is just ok. The chili sauce is the also pretty good, not great. Pleasant level of warmth (not heat), but a bit too sweet for my taste. I should have reserved this to eat with rice as I imagine it would have greatly improved the experience. I wouldn’t eat this again just by itself. Put this on some rice, top with scallions, and you’ve got a 3.5/5 star lunch.

  3. gebhard.abby (verified owner)


    My husband ate this over rice for his lunch…and it wasn’t quite what he was expecting. Which doesn’t mean it’s a bad tin, just that it wasn’t for him. I think he was thinking it would be more similar to an unagi which isn’t really the case at all. And this also has more prominent bones than something like sardines. Last thing that he wasn’t a huge fan of was the licorice/anise flavor that was fairly prominent. Again, nothing wrong with it, just wasn’t to his liking for those reasons.

  4. Tyler Cundiff (verified owner)

    This sweet chili eel was perfect for a quick lunch over some leftover white rice. Is it fine dining? No, but I’ve had much worse lunches than this one. Its a nice change of pace if you are a sardines on crackers kind of person like me. The chili flavor is much more sweet than spicy, which was fine, but i would have appreciated some more heat. I would recommend adding some chili crisp or some hot sauce. If you haven’t tried eel before I think this would be a good way to do it.

  5. Daniel Nusdeo (verified owner)

    These are definitely better than the original roasted. Best way for me is simply over some properly steamed rice (love my Zojirushi for this). Sweet taste and with a nice chili heat.

    I took the filets out with chopsticks and laid them over the warm rice, then drizzled a bit of the sauce over it, but not so much that it soaked the rice. Definitely recommend this method. Next time I’ll dice up some green onions and put them on top, didn’t have them this time or else I would have.

    I am excited to try the fermented bean one next, which I have in the pantry right now.

  6. Christopher Therrien (verified owner)

    I’ve now tried three of the Old Fisherman Roasted Eel products:
    Old Fisherman Roasted Eel with Fermented Black Beans (oval can “Special Recipe Version”), Old Fisherman Roast Eel Black Pepper, and now the Old Fisherman Roast Eel Chili.

    Of the three, I’d say I like the the Roasted Eel with Fermented Black Beans the best, followed next by the Roast Eel Chili, and then the Roast Eel Black Pepper (in order of preference).

    The first two tins: the Eel with Fermented Black Beans and the Roast Eel with Chili, have similar spicing with hints of clove, fennel and licorice, etc., flavors similar to Chinese Five Spice. Both tins have more going on flavor-wise vs the Roast Eel Black Pepper which gives a solid punch of black pepper upfront, but considerably less complexity in flavor overall when compared to the other two.

    Eaten out of the tin on it’s own, the texture of the eel is a bit odd, like a dry flaky jerky, so I consider it better used as an ingredient in a dish vs straight out of the tin. But, that’s just me. You may prefer the eel on it’s own.

    The Roast Eel Chili has a nice capsicum heat going on, and when it’s slightly warmed with two generous tablespoons of Laoganma Spicy Chili Crisp Sauce, then served over white rice with some chopped scallions it makes for a delicious meal.

    4 fish out of 5 ????????????????

  7. Shelby Kaylor (verified owner)

    Tried this can over white rice. I was expecting a lot of spice which wasn’t the case. I’d say the flavor of the sauce was more sweet than spice. The texture of the eel was soft and enjoyable. I was kind of surprised to see an entire spine in an eel and while it threw me off a bit, I ate it a second later and it was crunchy and delicious.

  8. josephraa (verified owner)

    I had this tin as part of a seacuterie spread with family, including several newbies. None of us have had eel before and were looking forward to it. Unfortunately this tin was a let-down for all of us. The sauce is just waaaaay too sweet and it’s all we could taste; we really wanted to find out what the eel itself tasted like but all we could taste was sugar (didn’t pick up on spicy at all). Texture was ok; large intact spines were surprising but not difficult to eat. I ended up loading it with tons of heat (homemade superhot scorpion reaper sauce) to balance out the sweetness and then it was alright. With this tin’s sauce it was kinda indistinguishable from any other cheap fish tins I might grab at my local Asian grocer that are all packed in the same kinda sweet sauce. I would not recommend this for anyone curious about eel unless they really like sugar.

  9. dolson.drew (verified owner)

    I’ve now sampled about a dozen tins of various conger eel, plain, and with black bean, black pepper, and this chili, and this is my favorite variation on the theme. I made my lovely bride a guinea pig in these experiments, and she found the candied notes of these “Sweet Eel” offerings to be surprising, perhaps even slightly off-putting. We don’t, at least here in Virginia, each many sweet things with supper. But you know when we do? Breakfast, so in place of French toast and cheese Danish, I fixed us a more Asian morning meal, with black-n-white rice, sauteed greens, and cucumber slices quick-pickled in a rice wine vinegar. And it worked. Those candy flavors of the eel’s sauce played nicely with the sharp notes of the cucumber and collard greens.

    A note on sugar: One of the reasons I began my tinned fish journey was because I’m diabetic. I’ve substituted savory seafood for carbs and sweets in various niches in my diet, and that’s worked out well in very many ways. If, though, one is focused on sugar intake, just note that this can features 8 mg. of sugar, about 7% of recommended daily intake–and closer to 30% for diabetics–which isn’t nothing for a small can (100 g/3.5 oz.) like this. (The can’s U.S. nutritional information sticker, by the way, states that the tin contains two servings, but three and a half ounces of protein is a normal, perhaps even slightly stingy, serving for jumbo Americans like me, at least.) Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with a delicious splurge, even for diabetics, so long as everything else remains in healthy perspective. I’ll buy this tin, and eat it happily, in future.

  10. Vargas (verified owner)

    This stuff is tasty. The large spine in it is kind of wild but easy to remove. A tin to stock up on for rice/noodle dishes.

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