Simple Japenese Broiled Unagi Eel Recipe

Unagi Eel
Jonathan Siegel / Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 servings
Ratings (4)

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
  • 1-2 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 11/2  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!
  2. This dish screams for a cold lager beer, but a crisp Chenin Blanc or a Vinho Verde wine  would be good, too.