How to Make an Easy Eel Sauce


Let’s make Eel Sauce!

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


Tips for Making Eel Sauce

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. Simmer on low to medium heat until it gets thick and sticky.

Don’t put the heat too high or it will caramelize too much and turn into candy. Stir frequently so it cooks evenly. There will be bubbling and it might look foamy but it goes away when you stir. The sauce will get thicker as it cools and turn into a honey-like consistency.

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. 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.

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

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5 from 1 vote

Eel Sauce

Cook Time 10 minutes


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


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



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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