Japanese Broiled Unagi Eel With Rice

Unagi eel with rice
Randy R.A. Gibbs / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
361 Calories
22g Fat
17g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 361
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 137mg 46%
Sodium 1706mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 400mg 9%
*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 or 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 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 is accompanied by 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.


  • 1 (9-ounce) package Japanese unagi eel

  • 1 cup long-grain rice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

  • 3 medium scallions, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, or nam pla

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. Start the broiler to get it hot.

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

  5. 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.

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

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat-resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

  • Baby leeks are a good substitute for scallions.
  • Switch from fish sauce to soy sauce if you prefer.

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