The naval (actually the anus) in the middle of the body serves as the border separating the head part (top) and tail part (bottom) of the eel. The fat is distributed better on the top. People used to say that since the bottom moves more it is more tasty, but is this really true?
It’s also often said, “the top should be served skin-up and the bottom should be served skin-down.”
Skin-up means that the skin side is on top and the meaty side is on the rice.
Skin-down means that the meaty side is facing up and the skin side is on the rice.
Conger eel easily melts apart when it is boiled and broth enters the part where it separates, so the appearance is not as appealing. But unless the crack is extremely obvious, both the top and bottom of the conger eel is often prepared skin-down in sushi.
We hope this information will be helpful.
Revision date: August 27, 2018