Simple Japenese Broiled Unagi Eel

Unagi eel with rice
Randy R.A. Gibbs / Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Ratings (5)

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.

What You'll Need

  • 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

How 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.
  1. 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.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 528
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Unsaturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 137 mg
Sodium 767 mg
Carbohydrates 54 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 25 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)