A lacquer bowl containing Unagi (Eel) over steamed rice.

Unadon (Unagi Don)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: donburi, grilled eel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Nami
Have fun making one of the Japanese favorites, Unadon (grilled eel rice bowl), in your own kitchen. Sweet caramelized homemade unagi sauce drizzled over perfectly grilled unagi and steamed rice, this recipe will make any Japanese food enthusiasts mouth water.


Unagi Sauce (Unagi Tare): See Notes

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (Use GF soy sauce for Gluten Free)
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • Tbsp sugar
  • Tbsp sake


To Make Unagi Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, add mirin, sake, sugar. Turn on the heat to medium heat and whisk all the mixture.
    Unagi Sauce 1
  2. Then add soy sauce and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to the low heat and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Toward the end of cooking, you will see more bubbles
    Unagi Sauce 2
  3. Turn off the heat and let cool. The sauce will thicken more. You can store the sauce in an airtight jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Unagi Sauce 3

To Prepare Unagi

  1. Preheat your oven to broil (high/550F (290C) for 3 minutes. Meanwhile 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.
    Unagi Don 3
  2. Put the baking sheet in the MIDDLE rack of your oven, and broil on high for 5-7 minutes (no need to flip).
  3. After 7 minutes or so, take it out and brush the Unagi Sauce over.
    Unagi Don 4
  4. Continue to broil for another 30 seconds to 60 seconds until you see bubbles on top of Unagi.
    Unagi Don 5
  5. Serve rice in a bowl and pour or brush Unagi Sauce on the rice. Serve Unagi on top of rice and pour/brush more Unagi Sauce. Serve immediately. You can also sprinkle some Sansho.
    Unagi Don 6

Recipe Notes

Unagi Sauce (Unagi Tare): I updated the sauce recipe to ⅓ of my original recipe for just 2 fillets (However, the step-by-step pictures above show my original recipe portion). I usually make unagi sauce with the following recipe and use it whenever I need instead of making it in small portion each time. You can store the sauce in the refrigerator.


My original Unagi Sauce Recipe:

  1. Combine the ingredients in the saucepan.
  2. Reduce the sauce for 20 minutes, or until thicken (instead of 10 mins as written above).


Re-heating Unagi: You can use a frying pan, but I recommend you to use the oven broiler. If you don't have an oven, you can use an oven toaster as well.


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.