Sweet, savory, thick and full of flavor, this homemade unagi sauce is the dream sauce for BBQ dishes!
Have you tried grilled unagi (grilled eel) or unagi sushi before? If so, you must be wondering what is the caramelized sweet salty sauce that goes with the unagi? Well, the sauce is basically called the unagi sauce, and it is a special type of thick and sweetened soy sauce.
Traditionally, unagi sauce is commonly used on grilled eel or different dishes that feature grilled eel such as unagi don (Unadon/Unaju) or unagi sushi. Although there are many commercial brands of unagi sauce available in the market, the best unagi sauce is the one you can make at home.
Making Unagi Sauce At Home
To make unagi sauce at home is as simple as one can imagine. You only need 4 ingredients – soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake – to create a rich, umami-packed unagi sauce. And the rest is about combining the mixture in a small pot and let it simmer over the stove until the sauce caramelizes and thickens to your desired richness.
The great thing about making the sauce at home instead of buying the pre-made stuff is you can decide on the sweetness and saltiness level. And there’s no addictives in the ingredients.
Unagi Sauce for Many Purposes
Aside from regular unagi dishes, unagi sauce is finger-licking delicious on any BBQ dishes. Think grilled meat, grilled fish, grilled tofu, grilled mushrooms, grilled rice ball (Yaki Onigiri) and so on. All you need is a light brush or a drizzle of this sweet savory sauce to heighten the flavor of the dish. You can also use unagi sauce as a marinade for meats or as a dressing for fresh cooked noodles.
If you’re looking for a new flavor to add to your grill menus this year, you want to try out this homemade unagi sauce recipe! It is absolutely one of my favorite sauces to make in the summer.
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- Combine mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil to evaporate alcohol.
Add sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Then add soy sauce and bring it to a boil. Then reduce heat and continue cooking on simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat to cool it down. You can store the sauce in an airtight jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
My original recipe: ¾ cup soy sauce, ¾ cup mirin, ½ cup (4.4oz/125g) sugar, ¼ cup sake.
The step-by-step pictures above show my original recipe portion.
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 in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.