5 Ingredients or Fewer

Unadon (Japanese Eel Rice Bowl)

March 28, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland, prop styling by Molly Fitzsimons, food styling by Anna Billingskog
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

Unadon is a classic Japanese rice bowl dish with sweet and savory unagi, or freshwater eel. —Oishii Moments

Test Kitchen Notes

This savory eel rice bowl comes together in about half an hour and is the perfect recipe for one. Of course, you can easily double or quadruple the ingredients depending on how many you're serving. You may not think that eel is the perfect complement to white rice and a delicious unagi sauce, but it sure is, and you'll find yourself making this over and over again. The sauce is made of some soy sauce, mirin, and granulated sugar, that's it! All you have to do is heat the ingredients slowly until the sugar melts, and the sauce is ready to go. It's so simple and quick, it'll become your go-to whenever the craving for a rice bowl strikes.

Even though it's a few extra steps, it's super important to rinse the rice until the water runs mostly clear. This way, you'll remove any excess starch from the rice, which sometimes gives it a gummy, unpleasant texture. A simple rinse will ensure that won't happen. All that's left to do is bake the eel in the oven. No need to season if you buy it preseasoned and vacuum-sealed, and there's no chopping or other fancy equipment required. Of course, because the bowl in itself is so simple, you can opt for whatever garnishes you have on hand. We highly recommend sliced cucumber, avocado, and sesame seeds, which will add lots of color and texture to the final dish. Or just keep it simple, depending on how lazy you're feeling and how much you love eel! —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Unagi Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Rice & Assembly
  • 1/2 cup short-grain white rice
  • 5 ounces vacuumed-sealed seasoned eel
  1. Unagi Sauce
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the mirin, soy sauce, and sugar, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the sugar melts and the sauce thickens slightly.
  1. Rice & Assembly
  2. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a sieve over the sink, rinse the rice until the water runs clear; drain. Transfer to a rice cooker, cover with ½ cup water, and let sit for 10 minutes. Cook according to your rice cooker's directions.
  3. Meanwhile, bake the eel on a rimmed baking sheet for 6 to 8 minutes, until heated through.
  4. Serve the eel over the steamed rice. Drizzle the unagi sauce on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

2 Reviews

Lora November 2, 2020
Great meal. I added cucumber sticks, avocado, ginger, sliced nori, sesame seeds. A pretty presentation.
Elle January 6, 2019
The sauce is great! This is one of my favorite meals - it’s so easy and I like to add cucumbers and avocado on the side.