Unadon - Japanese Grilled Eel By Meike Peters/ eat in my kitchen inspired by Unagi Hitsumabushi Bincho, Tokyo
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For the sauce
60ml / ¼ cup mirin (rice wine similar to sake)
1 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons sugar
60ml / ¼ cup tamari sauce
A pinch of salt
For the eel
2 long boneless eel fillets (unagi)
6-8 strong metal skewers
Steamed white rice, for serving
Japanese sansho pepper, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the grill, preferably using charcoal. The grill should be very hot for this recipe.
  2. For the sauce, in a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil, cook for 15 seconds, then add the sugar, tamari sauce, and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir until the sugar dissolved. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes or until thick. Let the sauce cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Lay the eel fillets next to each other on a large chopping board, skin side down, and carefully thread them onto the skewers (see pictures). Mind your fingers, as the eel is slippery. The skewers prevent the eel from rolling up and make it easier to turn the fish.
  4. Grill the eel for about 10 minutes, skin side first, until the skin is golden and partly brown. Using the skewers, turn the eel and grill on the other side until almost done. Dip the fillets into the sauce, or brush generously on both sides, and grill for 1-2 minutes until crispy and golden brown, turning every few seconds and letting the oily juices of the fish and the sauce combine. Dip into the sauce again, put the fish back on the grill and let the sauce dry on both sides for just a few seconds. Take the fish off the grill and remove the skewers. Cut the fillets into bite size pieces and enjoy the first bite, freshly off the grill.
  5. Divide the rice between bowls, arrange the eel on top, and sprinkle with sansho pepper.

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