After the last rather nostalgic post, I thought more about the simple dish of grilled Unagi and how nice it would be to perhaps try serving it at home. There’s a well-stocked Japanese supermarket down the road from where I live, so there really is no excuse as to why not?
Many westerners may find eel intimidating, but then again the English were fond of it jellied, which to me sounds much more un-appetizing than the Japanese version. The common way of serving it in Japan is my favourite way, grilled, with a sweet sauce, known as unagi no kaba-yaki (grilled eel). Add the “don”, and you’ll get what I was speaking about before, and indeed, what is pictured above (mouthwatering!) – hence, una-juu or una-don. Typically, a clear soup (suimono) made from unagi liver, called kimo-sui and is served on the side, but I have to admit that eel liver (or liver for that matter) is not my favourite thing, so I just stick to the main dish on rice.
Aside from its popular “yum” factor, Unagi is also known as a stamina-building health dish because it is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin A and E. So another excuse to eat it!
Short of ordering off the menu at the nearest Japanese restaurant, the next easiest option is to visit the freezer section of your local Japanese supermarket and purchase some of the frozen unagi you are likely to find there and serve it up with some fresh, hot rice, preferably served in a laquer box.
But if freshness is your thing, try this recipe below. I unearthed it at a forum, and it was translated from the Japanese:
How to make sauce of kabayaki
Sake : 100 CC
Sweet sake = MIRIN : 300CC
Sugar : 250g
Strong soy sauce :350CC
1.)Sake is mixed with mirin.
It is boiled.
An alcoholic ingredient is lost.
The head and the bone of an eel are burned. It is put into a pan.
2.)Sugar are put into a pan.
3.)Strong soy sauce is mixed and it is made to boil again.
4.)Low heat. It boils down from 15 minutes for 20 minutes.
5.)I remove its lye.
It filters and cools as quickly as possible.
I put sugar and coordinate sweetness.
[tags]Unagi, Japanese food, kabayaki recipe[/tags]