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Authentic Recipe of Unagi Donburi. Smoky Flavor Japanese Traditional Grilled Eel on Rice from Nihonbashi-Ningyōchō.

Unagi Donburi is an authentic dish served with steamed rice and topped with a flavorful grilled eel fillet.

Things to know about Unagi Donburi Recipe

Japanese Traditional Grilled Eel on Rice from Nihonbashi-Ningyōchō – Unagi Donburi is a classic dish first served during the Edo era. It is a dish with the delicious taste of grilled fillet unagi (eel) on steamed rice.

The fish is gutted, sliced in a butterfly shape, squared, and skewered. There is a special tare sauce used to glaze the fillet before grilling. What makes tare sauce special is its ingredients, such as mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar.

The sauce gives the fish the caramelization effect during the grilling process. The eel may be steamed before cooking or directly cooked on the grill. It ranked top-five in Japanese dishes, and is a must-try traditional dish.

Smoky Flavor Japanese Traditional Grilled Eel on Rice from Nihonbashi-Ningyōchō. Authentic Recipe of Unagi Donburi.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: 鰻丼
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Main Ingredient Group Fish based Recipes
Spice Level No Spicy Recipes
Main Cooking Method Boiled, Boiled (Simmering), Broiling


Servings 4 People
Calories / Serving 141 kcal



  • 160 grams (5.64 oz) Eel Defrosted, fillet
  • Japanese Sansho Pepper For toppings (optional)
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Unagi Sauce

  • 60 ml (2.03 floz) Soy Sauce
  • 60 ml (2.03 floz) Mirin
  • tbsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
  • tbsp Sake



  • Prepare all ingredients in advance and make sure to weigh each ingredient properly.
  • Cut the eel in half or thirds depending on the serving bowl or size.


  • Using a small saucepan, add the sugar, mirin, and sake. Turn on the fire to medium heat and whisk the sauce mixture.
  • After boiling, add the soy sauce and boil the mixture again. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes or until it thickens. You will find some bubbles forming on top.
  • Take out the mixture from the heat and cool it down. You will notice that the sauce will thicken more as it cools down. The sauce can be stored inside the fridge for three months inside an airtight jar.


  • Preheat the broiler to 500ºF or 260ºC.
  • Place the rack at the center of the oven away from its top heat for 5 minutes.
  • Use a foil on top of the baking sheet for easy cleaning.
  • Brush the foil with oil.
  • Put the eel on top of the foil with the skin side down.
  • Broil it for 5 to 7 minutes, and no need to flip the fish.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Healthy Diet Recipe Healthy Recipes


Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 9gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 957mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1391IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Japanese Traditional Grilled Eel on Rice, Unagi Donburi Recipe, 鰻丼
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What to serve with Unagi Donburi?

  • Before serving it on top of the rice, brush the steamed rice with unagi sauce for added flavor.
  • You may also top it with Japanese sansho pepper.
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