Simple Japenese Broiled Unagi Eel

Unagi eel with rice
Randy R.A. Gibbs / Getty Images
Ratings (5)
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
528 Calories
22g Fat
54g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 528
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 137mg 46%
Sodium 767mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 25g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Unagi, a freshwater eel native to Japan, is most often barbecued, steamed, and served over rice. It is a favorite in American sushi restaurants because the sweet, savory glaze over the rich, dense eel marries perfectly with the vinegared rice of a nigiri sushi.

This recipe is about as simple as it gets. It makes use of the excellent pre-barbecued unagi available in many Asian markets, and a simple herbed and seasoned rice. Although short-grain rice is typically used to prepare vinegared rice, this recipe is made with long-grain rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 (9-ounce) package Japanese unagi eel
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 3 chopped scallions or green onions or baby leeks
  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla) or soy sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Make the rice with the salt in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer’s directions or by simmering in 1 1/2 cups of water, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed

  2. Start the broiler to get it hot.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together half the chives, scallions, rice-wine vinegar, sesame oil, and fish sauce.

  4. Skin the unagi if it is not already skinned -- it will just peel right off -- and broil it until the eel begins to color. This will take only a few minutes. Flip the eel and do the same on the other side.

  5. To assemble, mix the rice in the large bowl containing the seasonings. Scoop into large bowls and top with the rest of the chives. Arrange small pieces of the unagi eel on top and enjoy.

Pairing Ideas

This dish screams for a cold lager beer, but a crisp Chenin Blanc or a Vinho Verde wine would be good, too.