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Unagi sauce with Japanese freshwater eel

Unagi sauce with Japanese freshwater eel |ORYOKI

Unagi (鰻) is the Japanese word for freshwater eel, which is commonly served smoked in German cuisine. With its long, snake-like shape, it may not appear to be a delicacy at first glance, but in Japan, eel has its own small tradition and is prepared in various ways. If you're in Japan, you might have come across an Unagi restaurant: Even from the exterior, it's indicated that it's a restaurant specializing in Unagi. Dining in an Unagi restaurant is a special treat, not an everyday occurrence, even for the Japanese.

How is Unagi Eel prepared?

With its high content of vitamins and minerals, it is a popular dish in Japanese cuisine. The most well-known preparation of freshwater eel is Unagi no Kabayaki (鰻の蒲焼). Kabayaki is the method used to prepare the eel for grilling. Initially, the fish is split along the back, gutted, and all bones are removed. It is then cut into rectangular pieces, skewered whole, and marinated with Unagi eel sauce. Only then is it grilled in a pan or over charcoal. Throughout the process, the fish is brushed again with the sweet sauce, which imparts a distinct flavor to the eel.

The highlight of Unagi: the sauce

The Unagi sauce is the highlight that makes the enjoyment of freshwater eel so special. The name Unagi sauce is somewhat misleading in this case because there is no eel in the sauce itself. The name originates from times when this special sauce was exclusively served with eel dishes. Instead, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar form the basis of the traditional sauce, which is also commonly used as a sushi sauce or served with seafood and rice. Due to its sweet aroma, consistency, and pleasant taste, it is now often used with Japanese meat dishes and even noodles and snacks.

Unagi sauce on sushi
Unagi sauce on sushi

Unagi Sauce Recipe

No. of persons4 portionsNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 30 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
DishDip or marinadeDish
Caloriesca. 180kcal per portionCalories
Kitchenware Kitchenware
Pot , Whisk , Bowl , Sauce bowl
Unagi-Sauce für Aal
List of ingredients
150ml soy sauce
150g sugar
150ml Mirin (sweetened rice wine) or white wine of your choice
100ml Sake as needed
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Step 1

Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and let them boil.

Step 2

Simmer the contents over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Stir the mixture regularly. If desired, you can add potato or corn starch for thickening, depending on the desired consistency. To avoid lumps, the starch should be stirred into cold water before adding it to the sauce.

Step 3

For those who like to experiment, you can season the sauce with some pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Step 4

As mentioned earlier, the sauce can be used as a marinade for traditional Unagi dishes or as a dip for grilled foods, rice, poke bowls, or sushi.

Info: Teriyaki sauce is based on a similar foundation as Unagi sauce. With some ginger and garlic, the sauce can be modified to resemble the taste of Teriyaki sauce.

Japanese recipes read in the magazine »
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