Unagi Chazuke 鰻茶漬け

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Unagi Chazuke Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

Unagi Chazuke (鰻茶漬け) is one of my husband’s favorite dishes. Before we were married, the only unagi dish he knew was Unagi Don (Unadon/Broiled Eel over Rice). After I served the Unagi Chazuke to him the first time, he loved it so much that he only requests this dish whenever we have unagi.

Unagi Chazuke is a very popular dish from Kyoto. Grilled/broiled eel is placed on top of the steamed rice and hot broth is poured over. While you grill the unagi, you make the broth. You can use either dashi broth or tea as broth, but here I make the broth with both dashi and konbucha (kombu tea). The saltiness from konbucha makes very delicious soup.

Unagi Chazuke | Just One Cookbook

We had many Western style meals over the holidays, so it was nice to have a Japanese dish again. If you like Unadon, I hope you give this different unagi dish a try next time!

Unagi Chazuke | Just One Cookbook

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Unagi Chazuke
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  1. Cut Unagi in half (or maybe third) to fit inside your serving bowls. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush oil lightly (I use spray oil). Place unagi on top.
  2. WITHOUT preheat, put the baking sheet in the MIDDLE rack of your oven, and broil on high for 7 minutes (no need to flip).
  3. After 7 minutes or so, take it out and brush the Unagi Sauce over.
  4. Continue to broil for another 30 seconds to 60 seconds until you see bubbles on top of Unagi.
  5. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, combine dashi stock and konbucha and mix well.
  6. Serve rice in a bowl and pour or brush Unagi Sauce on the rice. You can cut Unagi into 1 inch pieces (optional - easier to eat with chopsticks) and put on top of rice. Pour/brush more Unagi Sauce.
  7. Right before you serve, pour the dashi/konbucha soup on top of Unagi and garnish with green onions, mitsuba and sesame seeds.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: Pictures updated in July 2012

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  1. Nami

    Thanks Kimberly! My site requires a lot of improvement, but I’m working on it one at a time. I still need a few weeks before I make this site public… I appreciate any feedback and suggestion from you! Thanks again. :-)

    • Nami

      Thanks Julie! Try to find Unagi from Japan. I tried Unagi from other countries and they weren’t so good. Hope you like it!

  2. Stephanie

    Hi Nami:
    I am a pretty experienced cook and a very experienced patron of Japanese restaurants. My children simply love unaju and I would love to make it for them. We are blessed with a large number of great Asian groceries in the area, so I am planning on buying fresh fillets (they’ll take them out of the tank and fillet them while you wait). It seems like a pretty simple broiling process, but all the recipes I can find call for frozen eel and bottled sauce. Any hints on broiling and recipes for good home-made sauce.
    I love your blog.

    • Hi Stephanie! Wow the Asian groceries in your area sell “live” eels?? That’s so rare! Okay, I’ve never cooked “live” eels at home, but I did some research and it looks like you can cook it at home. Let me know if a oven broiler works. In Japan we have special fish broiler under the stove, and I couldn’t find any recipe that use an oven for “live” eels.

      Here’s directions for uncooked eel fillet:

      1) Cut fillet into 3-4 inch pieces (easy to flip).
      2) Cook (broil) skin side first. If the direct heat source is from top, skin side should face up.
      3) When the skin gets crispy, flip.
      4) When you see bubbles on the meat, brush the sauce on both sides of eels and continue to grill. Repeat a couple of times. It will easily burn, so stay around the oven.

      Homemade Sauce recipe can be found here: http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/unagi-don-unadon/

  3. I’ve never tasted eel before in my life, but it sure looks delicious. Will it tastes the same if I used other type of fish? and if so, then what type of fish you recommend? :)

    • Hi Muna!  Unagi has unique texture and taste that is not similar to other fish.  But if you really want to replace it, I’d suggest something like seabass or halibut type of white fish.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Flantashia

    Is it a good idea to refrigerate leftover unagi? It’s just me that will be eating this and if I make a lot at once, I’ll take it as a personal challenge to eat it all if I make a batch that’s too much and can’t be refrigerated afterwards.

    • Hi Flantashia! Yes, you can refrigerate to keep it for the following day. I won’t keep it for more than 2 days though. Since you are most likely defrost unagi to eat it, I won’t recommend to re-freeze it. :)