Unadon, or eel over rice, is a deliciously sweet special dish. In Japan, unagi (eel) is a kind of delicacy served in the summer. Though it’s not served ceremonially, the dish can get expensive. Luckily for us, eel is a bit more plentiful abroad, and can be found frozen in Japanese grocery stores. First-timers, please eat carefully. These are bony animals! The meat is worth the work, though: tender, sweet, and flaky. Served with unagi sauce? The umami-sweet is strong. Tradition says that the dish will fortify the diner, as well. Step out of your comfort zone and give it a go! It’s actually pretty easy to make a full Japanese lunch of it.
First, let’s gather our ingredients:
For two-three servings:
- 5 cups of rice
- 1 cut of eel (usually refrigerated/ frozen)
- Eel sauce
- 1 packet of wakame instant miso per person
- Green tea for all!
- As always, start with the rice!
- Rinse several times until the water is clear.
- Soak for 30 minutes, then hit “go!” on your rice cooker.
- Thaw and cook your eel according to the instructions on the package! It’ll be quick.
- While the eel is cooking, prep your instant miso. We love how the wakame comes to life!
- Release seasoning and miso packets into bowl
- Pour boiling-hot water and stir ^_^
- Slice eel when it’s finished, and place atop a bowl of freshly-cooked rice.
- Get your eel sauce and go to town!
- Eat while it’s all still hot.
- (Except perhaps the green tea. We had ours nice and cold.)
Savor this summertime treat of a meal. Itadakimasu!
By Emi Noguchi