Unagi is a fresh water eel from Japan, typically served roasted and boneless with a salty-sweet teriyaki sauce. Thin slices of unagi on rice are one of the more common types of nigiri sushi. Another popular method of serving is in a bowl on top of rice, this dish is known as Unagi Don.


Other names: Japanese Eel, Anguilla Japonica
Translations: ウナギ, Kalifornijoje, أوناغي, 장어, Унаги, &, 鳗鱼, &

Physical Description

Unagi has a blueish gray, slimy coating skin. When cleaned properly the meat will have a pinkish off white color to it when prepared for sushi.

Colors: Blueish Gray, Pink

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Pate
Mouthfeel: Tender, Crispy
Food complements: Rice, Egg
Wine complements: White
Beverage complements: Sake
Substitutes: Salt water eel

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: may, june, july, august
Choosing: Look for freshness and make sure the color of eel is bright.
Buying: You can purchase online or at your local Japanese fish market.
Procuring: 90% of Fresh water eel that is consumed in America are farm-raised and aren't breed in captivity.

Preparation and Use

Unagi is precooked and marinated barbequed farmed fresh water eel. It comes frozen in seven to nine ounce vacuum-packed portions. It is prepared by thawing, broiling, slicing into small strips pieces, and placing on sushi rice for a true delicacy.

Cleaning: You can rinse thoroughly with running water.

Conserving and Storing

You can freeze Unagi when raw but store in Tupperware after cooking.


Grilled Unagi is considered to be a delicacy in Japan and is popular not only for its flavor but also for its stamina-giving properties.

History: Japanese have known and eaten Unagi since the Nara Period (710-794 A.D.) for its medicinal effect but the actual cooking method was generalized since the Edo Period (1603-1867).



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