How to Make an Easy Eel Sauce

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Easy recipe for eel sauce! Eel sauce is that sweet, savory, and sticky sauce that everyone loves on sushi. Here is an easy and basic recipe for how to make it at home! You will want to put this on everything!


eel sauce recipe

What is Eel Sauce?

Eel sauce, also known as unagi sauce, is found in Japanese cuisine.

It is a sauce that is commonly used on grilled eels also known as unagi. It is sweet, salty, and sticky.

Contrary to its name, it is not made from blended up eels.

If you dine out at a restaurant, some places will cook the eels in it or use fish stock, which gives it extra flavor.

However at its core, and usually store-bought versions, are vegetarian.

RELATED: HOW TO MAKE SALMON SUSHI BAKE

What is the Difference Between Eel Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce?

Eel sauce at the most basic version is made of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. It is thick and sticky like syrup. Teriyaki sauce typically does not include mirin which is a sweet Japanese rice wine. Teriyaki sauce also includes additional aromatics such as ginger and garlic.

Where to Buy Eel Sauce?

Eel sauce isn’t as common to find in stores. At least I have a hard time finding it where I live.

Some stores where you might have luck are Asian or specifically Japanese grocery stores.

Occasionally generic grocery stores will have it in the Asian foods aisle depending on where you live.

If you cannot find it in person, you can buy it online on Amazon which is a little more expensive.

Eel sauce is also sometimes called unagi sauce or sushi sauce, so look out for those too.

The most common brand of eel sauce I typically see is Kikkoman’s Unagi Sushi Sauce.

However I usually make it at home following the easy recipe for eel sauce below.

where to buy eel sauce

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Eel Sauce Ingredients

This is a super simple eel sauce recipe that you can make at home with just 3-ingredients.

Before you begin, you’ll need to gather the following:

  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds a salty, savory, and umami flavor. I like to use regular Kikkoman soy sauce but you can also use a low-sodium variety.
  • Mirin: Mirin is a sweet cooking rice wine. It adds a nice flavor and sweetness to the glaze.
    • Substitute: Rice vinegar can be used as a substitute. However, you will need to add more sugar since mirin is sweeter. Add about an additional ½ teaspoon of sugar per tablespoon of mirin.
  • Sugar: White sugar balances out the saltiness. It caramelizes to create a thick and sticky glaze.
eel sauce ingredients

How to Make Eel Sauce

You can make eel sauce in just 10 minutes at home.

This 3-ingredient eel sauce recipe is super quick, easy, and makes roughly half half a cup of sauce!

Let’s get started and walk through how to make eel sauce step-by-step together so you can easily recreate it!

As always, there is a recipe card at the end that you to print out, pin to Pinterest, or save for later!

RELATED: HOW TO MAKE SPICY CRAB SUSHI BAKE CUPCAKES

Step 1: Add Ingredients

A basic eel sauce is really easy to make at home.

Simply mix together in a 2:2:1 ratio of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

For example: 2 cups soy sauce, 2 cups mirin, and 1 cup sugar.

Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan.

how to make eel sauce (step 1)

Step 2: Simmer & Reduce

Simmer on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently so it cooks evenly.

As it simmers, the sugars will caramelize and sauces will reduce.

It is done once it starts to thicken and bubbles are an orange color.

As a note, while the sauce is hot or warm on the stove, it will still be a fairly liquid consistency.

However, it should still be thicker than your starting point.

how to make eel sauce (step 2)

Step 3: Let It Cool

Lastly, let the eel sauce cool completely to thicken.

You can also place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling.

Once it cools, then the eel sauce will become more like a honey consistency.

RELATED: HOW TO MAKE A SINGLE-SERVE SUSHI BAKE

how to make eel sauce (step 3)

Tips for Making Eel Sauce

Here are some additional tips so you can make eel sauce perfectly!

  • Don’t have the heat on too high or the sugar will caramelize too much and turn into candy.
  • There will be bubbling and the eel sauce might look foamy and orange but it goes away when you stir the sauce once it is cool. The final result will be a clear sauce.
  • The sauce will get thicker as it cools and turn into a honey-like consistency so be patient after simmering.

How to Store Eel Sauce

Eel sauce is usually good for a few weeks in the fridge.

Store it in a sealed container like a mason jar.

Use a clean utensil each time you take a scoop out.

I usually make it in small batches because a little goes a long way and keeps it from drying out!

What to Eat with Eel Sauce?

Eel sauce goes great on everything! Traditionally it is used on grilled eels or unagi.

However, I like to use it for sushi bakes, sushi rolls, and salmon rice bowls at home.

It is even great as a glaze on chicken, salmon, and salads.

I also like to use it as a dipping sauce for veggies like cucumbers and avocado.

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy it, it is a delicious sauce!

Save This Eel Sauce Recipe!

I hope this step-by-step tutorial for how to make eel sauce is helpful and that you try to recreate this addictive sauce at home!

I love how quick, easy, and simple it is to make!

Be sure to save this recipe and share with your family and friends

Please leave a rating and comment below if you try it. I’d love to know what you think!

Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on IG @feedmi_ or TikTok @feedmi

Eel Sauce (Unagi Sauce)

Eel sauce is that sweet, savory, and sticky sauce that everyone loves on sushi. Here is an easy eel sauce recipe to make it at home!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 0.5 cup

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 tbs sugar

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan.
  • Simmer on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • The sauce is done when it starts to get thick and sticky. Let it cool completely. It will thicken more as it cools to a honey consistency.

Watch How to Make It

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1 thought on “How to Make an Easy Eel Sauce”

  • 5 stars
    This recipe did not thicken up for me, even after letting it cool. Then I heated it up again and added an extra TB of sugar, and it got to a perfect consistency. I tried making the recipe again, this time doubling it, and adding two extra TB of sugar, but it did not thicken up. So I’m not quite sure what the trick is to it…it seems like maybe it needs to be warm first before adding the sugar? Or perhaps heated for a longer period of time? Either way, it still came out delicious and was an excellent addition to the sushi bake. Thanks!

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