Unagi is a freshwater eel and somewhat of a delicacy in Japan.
You should try to try it at least once during your stay in Japan. It is cooked over hot charcoal and sautéed in a thick, substantial Shoyu, Mirin, and Sake sauce.
UNAGI’s full meals can be expensive, but many specialty restaurants offer Unagi as packaged to go. But, it’s not that cheap, about 1,500 yen for lunch.
Why Do Japanese People Eat Unagi In Mid-Summer?
The 24th of July is Ushi (the bull) day of the summer and is considered the hottest day. Japanese tradition says that you have to eat something very rich and nourished to overcome this tremendous heat. Since the time of Edo (17-19th century Tokyo), Unagi (eels) have been recognized as an ideal food for this purpose; therefore, everyone tries to eat Unagi today.
Photo shows Unagui serving with rice and clear soup with eel liver (it’s called Kimosui) costing around 4000 Yen at a restaurant known as Isesada in Nihonbashi, central Tokyo near our office. (about $ 35) In Tsukiji Market, the famous fish market keeps Unagui alive in water to keep cool. The supermarket also sells unagi but with the price almost half, but most are imported Unagi.
How Is Unagi Eaten?
UNADON – Grilled eel over a bowl of rice.
UNAJYUU – Grilled eel on a flat plate of rice.
UNAGI TEISHOKU – Grilled Eel, rice, eel liver soup.
KABAYAKI – Grilled eel skewers, not rice.