Have you ever thought what is that sweet brown sauce on sushi? Well, that sauce is known as Unagi sauce or Eel sauce. The name suggests it’s a sauce made with eel. But no! This sauce does not contain eel. However, it may contain eel broth.
What is the sweet brown sauce on sushi? It’s a delicious condiment made with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Eel sauce is a popular dipping sauce for sushi rolls, and it can also be used as a marinade or glaze.
If you keep reading, you will get to know more about the sweet brown sauce on sushi, how it is made, its origin, its taste, and a lot more.
What Is the Name of the Sweet Brown Sauce on Sushi?
The sauce is named after unagi or freshwater eel. Unagi is a popular sushi ingredient in Japan. Unagi is the eel fish and the sauce is meant to mimic the sweet, rich flavor of the eel.
The sweet brown sauce on sushi has many names such as Unagi sauce, Eel sauce, Nitsume, or Kabayaki. The key ingredients in unagi sauce are soy sauce, sweet sake or mirin, and sugar and it gives a sweet and savory flavor to sushi rolls.
This sweet brown sauce is thick, sweet, and sticky, and it’s perfect for sushi rolls or dipping nigiri sushi. The sauce got its name because it is typically used in dishes involving eel in it.
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How Is Eel Sauce Made?
Eel sauce is made with a few simple ingredients: soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Mirin is a sweet rice wine that is used in Japanese cooking to add flavor to dishes. Sugar is added to sweeten the sauce.
Soy sauce is used as the main flavor base for the sauce, and it gives the sauce its signature brown color.
Recipe For Eel Sauce: Ingredients
- 1/4 cup mirin, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sake, or Japanese rice wine, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
Procedure: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the mirin, soy sauce, sake, and granulated sugar. Bring the sauce to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the liquid by about one-third. Keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools.
To test the consistency, spoon a small amount of the sauce onto a plate and draw a line through it with your finger. If the line holds, the sauce has been reduced sufficiently. It should have the consistency of honey at room temperature.
Remove from heat once it has reached the desired consistency. Allow to cool slightly before using, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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How Does the Sweet Brown Sauce Taste?
Eel sauce has a sweet and savory flavor, with a slightly smoky taste from the soy sauce. The sauce is thick and sticky, and it clings to sushi rolls and other dishes.
The sweetness of the sauce is balanced by the saltiness of the soy sauce, and the mirin adds a touch of acidity to the sauce. The sauce pairs well with sushi rolls made with cucumber, avocado, and imitation crab meat.
The sweet brown sauce on sushi is a flavorful condiment that can be used to add sweet and savory flavors to sushi rolls and other dishes.
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What Dishes Can I Use Eel Sauce or Unagi Sauce on?
Eel sauce is commonly used in sushi rolls, and it can also be used as a dipping sauce for nigiri sushi. Sushi has cucumber, avocado, and imitation crab meat as the filling goes well with the sweet and savory flavors of the sauce.
Eel sauce can also be used as a marinade for grilled meats or vegetables. The sauce is perfect for adding a sweet and savory flavor to dishes. It is even used in rice bowls, noodles, etc. But it is popular for its use on sushi and eel.
To use eel sauce as a sushi roll condiment, simply drizzle the sauce over the top of your sushi roll. For nigiri sushi, dip the sushi in the sauce.
Use eel sauce in rice bowls and noodles by adding a few spoonfuls of the sauce to your on top of your rice or noodles.
Unagi or eel sauce can also be used on pizzas and sandwiches and can be lightly brushed on yaki onigiri or grilled rice balls.
The sweet brown sauce on sushi is a versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes. From sushi rolls to rice bowls, the sweet and savory flavors of the sauce add a delicious flavor to any dish.
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Does Eel or Unagi Sauce Contain Eel?
The sweet brown sauce on sushi is known as unagi or eel sauce. Despite its name, the sauce does not actually contain any eel. The sauce got its name because it is commonly used in dishes that contain eel.
There is no use of eel broth in eel sauce. The sauce gets its flavor from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. If anyone adds eel broth that maybe just add extra flavor or eel. But the basic ingredient list does not have eel or eel broth in it.
Substitutes of Eel or Unagi Sauce?
There is no direct substitute for eel sauce. However, you can use a combination of soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and rice vinegar to create a similar flavor profile. Or you can also use Teryaki sauce.
If you are looking for a dipping sauce to use with sushi rolls, you can try using sweet chili sauce or soy sauce.
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Conclusion: What Is the Sweet Brown Sauce on Sushi?
By now you must have understood what the sweet brown sauce on sushi is. The myth that this sauce, namely eel, unagi, nitsume, or kabayaki, contains eel or eel items in it also must have been busted. But it has been named after the fish because it is popularly used in dishes having eel in it.
So, next time when you are having sushi don’t avoid this sweet brown sauce thinking it has eel in it. Instead, be generous and drizzle this sauce on your sushi to make the taste of sushi reach another level.