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Recipe: Maine Unagi Eel Bowl 

Unagi Chazuke (Hitsumabushi) 

by SoPo Seafood's Jacqueline Clark - February 22, 2021

Raw Maine Eel Unagi on Baking Tray

Unagi Chazuke (Hitsumabushi) is a popular rice bowl from Nagoya which features broiled eel atop steamed rice, and finished with a flavorful broth. Deceptively easy to make, it is a perfect entrée and can even be adapted to make sushi or light appetizers.

The Eel for this recipe was sourced exclusively from Maine's well-managed eel fishery, raised in land-based aquaculture systems located on the coast of Maine and fed a high-quality diet, without the use of hormones or antibiotics. 

Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Stuffed Squid Recipe Ingredients including eggplant, squid, peppers

Unagi Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
● 1/4 cup mirin
● 1 1/2 TBSP sake
● 2 1/2 TBSP sugar
● 1/4 cup soy sauce
● 2 TBSP brown sugar

Preparation:
● In a small saucepan, add the mirin, sake, and sugar. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and whisk the mixture as it begins to heat.
● Add in the soy sauce, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toward the end of cooking, you may see more bubbles.
● Turn off the heat, and let the sauce cool; the mixture will thicken more as it cools.
● You can store the sauce in an airtight jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 months. 

Raw Maine Kelp Boiled in Medium Pot

Dashi Recipe

Ingredients:
● 1/3 oz kombu (dried kelp) (roughly three 4"x4" pieces)
● 1/3 oz katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
● 4 cups water

Preparation:
● Gather all your ingredients. Make a few slits on the kombu, which will help release more flavor. Do not wash or wipe off the white powdery substance (mannitol), which contributes to the umami flavor in dashi.
● In a medium pot, place the kombu and the water. Turn on the heat to medium-low, and slowly bring to an almost boil, about 10 minutes.
● Just before the dashi starts boiling gently, remove kombu from the pot (Discard or use for other recipes - continue reading). If you leave the kombu in the pot, the dashi will become slimy and bitter.
● Add the katsuobushi and bring the mixture back to a boil again.
● Once the dashi is boiling, reduce the heat, simmer for just 30 seconds, and turn off the heat.
● Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom, about 10 minutes.
● Strain the dashi through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl or measuring cup.
● If you are not using the dashi right away, store the dashi in a bottle or mason jar and keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Unagi Eel Recipe Ingredients in Bowls

Homemade Furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning) Recipe:

Ingredients:
● 1/2 oz reserved kombu (from making dashi)
● Reserved katsuobushi (from making dashi)
● 1 sheet nori seaweed, torn
● 1 tsp sugar (add more to your preference)
● 2 tsp soy sauce
● 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preparation:
• Gather all your ingredients. make sure the kombu and katsuobushi are well-drained.
• Chop kombu into small pieces. You can cut katsuobushi into smaller pieces too if you prefer.
• Place kombu and katsuobushi in a saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until katsuobushi become dry and separate from each other.
• Add sugar, salt, and soy sauce.
• Cook on medium-low heat until the liquid is completely evaporated, and katsuobushi is dehydrated and crispy.
• Transfer the furikake to a tray or plate and let cool. Once it's cooled, you can add the nori seaweed.
• Put in mason jar or airtight container and enjoy sprinkling over steamed rice. You can refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, and freeze for up to one month. 

Unagi Eel with Sauce Glazed on it

Unagi Chazuke Recipe:

Ingredients:
For the Broth
● 2 cups dashi
● 2 tsp konbucha
For the Unagi Bowl
● 2 fillets unagi (eel), each approximately 4 oz.
● 1/4 cup unagi sauce
● Japanese short-grain rice for serving
For the Garnish
● 1 green onion/scallion, finely chopped
● 3 tsp toasted white sesame seeds (toasted)
● 2 TBSP furikake (optional) 

Preparation:

To Prepare the Broth
● In a small saucepan, combine dashi and konbucha.
● Heat the broth over medium heat and whisk well. Taste the broth and adjust with more konbucha or salt if necessary.

To Prepare the Unagi
● Cut each unagi fillet in half to fit inside your serving bowls.
● Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Place unagi on top. Without preheating, put the baking sheet in the middle rack of your oven, and broil on high for 7 minutes.
● After 7 minutes or so, take the unagi out of the oven, and brush the unagi sauce over the fillet. Broil another 30 to 60 seconds until you see bubbles on top of unagi.
● Repeat the process of removing the unagi from the oven, and brushing with unagi sauce several times until the unagi appears fully caramelized.

To Serve
● Serve steamed rice in bowls and brush unagi sauce on the rice. Place unagi on top. You can cut Unagi into 1-inch pieces, making it easier to eat with chopsticks. Pour/brush more unagi sauce, if you like.
● Right before you serve, pour the broth over the unagi and garnish with green onion, sesame seeds, and furikake. 

Unagi on Rice with Hand Sprinkles Scallions

Buy Butterflied Maine Eel / Unagi Online

This recipe was created using SoPo Seafood's raw butterflied Maine Eel. Our Eel/Unagi is available in 1 lb flash-frozen packs. 

Raw Maine Eel on Oven Tray

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