Silver Eels* with Parsley Sauce

Location: Cradley Heath
Era: 1940s

“Well, my Mother was very good at making the rations go a long way. And in addition, my Father had an ulcer which meant he got extra food, so I suppose we did a bit better than most people. I don’t remember having lavish food, but I remember having good food. And well-cooked food. I remember we used to go to the fish market in Birmingham and because of my Father’s ulcer, my Mother used to cook silver eels, bring them back and we used to have them with parsley sauce, and they were very, very tasty. I wouldn’t have the nerve to do one myself, but she used to do it.”
Joan Tromans


* Silver eels, which were traditionally caught in wicker traps in rivers, estuaries and beaches near to fresh water rivers, were sold in fish markets across Britain and were a cheap and popular dish. However silver eels are now critically endangered and fishermen are banned from catching them in some parts of Britain. So we suggest you just make the parsley sauce instead and serve with another fish of your choice!

  • 25g of butter
  • 25g of plain flour
  • 1 pint of milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp of finely chopped parsley


Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes.

Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Put back on the heat and bring to the boil stirring all the time.

Simmer gently for 5 minutes and add salt and pepper.

Stir in the parsley and serve.