Easy Japanese Recipes

Unagi Sauce

Unagi Sauce post image

This sweet and flavorful sauce is commonly used for Unagi Don (Unadon/Unaju).  It is super easy to make at home and it can be used for many purpose.  I also used this sauce for Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Ball).

Unagi Sauce Recipe
 
Cook time
 
Serves: Sauce for 2 unagi fillets
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2½ Tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp. sake
Instructions
  1. Combine mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil to evaporate alcohol.
  2. 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 the refrigerator.
Notes
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.

12 comments

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  • Kerry May 7, 2013, 10:15 am

    Thanks so much for this recipe! We love Unagi. I am going to try this on different fish as I haven’t seen eel in my local supermarket.

    Reply
    • Nami May 8, 2013, 11:06 am

      Hi Kerry! If you don’t have a Japanese grocery store around, try Chinese/Korean market. They should carry at least one kind of packaged precooked eel. :) Hope you enjoy this sauce!

      Reply
  • thor May 23, 2013, 10:48 am

    um could you replace mirim with honey

    Reply
    • Nami May 23, 2013, 10:40 pm

      Hi Thor! Um… it’s a tough question. Mirin and honey are quite different in sweetness and flavor (fragrance too). For this particular dish, I think it’s a bit strange to use honey… For some recipes (like baked goods, marinades, etc), mirin can be replaced with honey and it will work, but for Unagi sauce, I just don’t think it’ll work… You can replace with sugar though, if you cannot/don’t want to use alcohol. Hope that helps! :)

      Reply
      • thor May 24, 2013, 9:35 am

        thank you so very much um could you post more things with honey??

        Reply
        • Nami May 27, 2013, 11:21 pm

          I’m currently working on Japanese Honey Sponge Cake. If you like honey, I hope you enjoy this dessert. :)

          So far I have these recipes that I used honey:

          http://justonecookbook.com/tags/honey/

          Hope that helps.

          Reply
          • thor May 28, 2013, 9:22 am

            it sounds good cant wait

            Reply
  • Serge January 19, 2014, 10:21 pm

    This site is exceptional! Thank you Nami, I appreciate it greatly, especially the hyperlinks of ingredients within the ingredient table on how to make them.. Extremely nice and professional.. definitely the “AsiaN” touch on that one;-)

    Reply
    • Nami January 21, 2014, 8:51 am

      Hi Serge! Aww thank you so much for your kind compliments! Well, I really wish to make my blog even more organized but I just don’t have enough time to clean up and organize my blog…. ;) Thank you!

      Reply
  • Pauline March 25, 2014, 12:07 pm

    Hello Nami,

    This is a great blog, I really enjoy it. I am just wondering can I make this sauce without sake? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Nami March 26, 2014, 11:52 am

      Hi Pauline! In Japanese cooking, sake is included often for certain purpose (to reduce the smell of fish/meat, to tender the meat/fish, make the sauce mild, etc). Without sake the result won’t be the same, but you can omit it if you cannot use it. :) Just to make sure, if you cannot use sake because of alcohol content, mirin has sake in it too, so you may want to avoid it also. Don’t worry, you can make it with soy sauce and sugar, and adjust with water if it’s too strong (as you will be lacking liquid from mirin and sake). Hope this helps! :)

      Reply