Eel Sauce

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Eel sauce is also known as nitsume or kabayaki sauce in sushi restaurants. The sweet, salty flavor of the sauce is terrific with grilled fish and sushi.

Sushi dipped in eel sauce.

Eel sauce? It’s a funny name, for sure. Don’t worry – no eels are involved in the making of this sauce!

As I am writing this, it is the time of year when I have gorged myself on corn, zucchini and tomatoes – and we’ve grilled our dinner for days straight. Don’t get me wrong – I love the bounty of summer and all its fresh flavors. I’ve been making Peach Mango Salsa and Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)non-stop this year.

But there comes a time in the summer when I start to really crave some bold flavors. For me, that usually comes by way of Asian food. I make a batch of this spicy chicken marinade and bake up a tray of spicy korean chicken or use my sesame chicken sauce to make sesame chicken. I serve it along side noodles tossed in this creamy peanut sauce, and serve with some green beans or broccoli.

For starters, I will buy some sushi and dumplings from our local sushi restaurant. I make my own sauces, because, well, I just think they taste better. I’ll serve them with this eel sauce, my Dim Sum Sauce, this Easy Potsticker Sauce and my Yum Yum Sauce.

When I say we devour this dinner, I want you to picture every last thing on the table being eaten.

This eel sauce is another sushi dipping sauce. Boiling the soy sauce and wine with the sugar gives the sauce a thickness that my other dipping sauces don’t have. It’s perfect for drizzling over grilled fish as the thickness of it lets it cling a bit to the fish. I particularly like it drizzled over grilled or sauteed shrimp.

It’s a delicious and perfect balance of salty from the soy, acidic from the wine and sweetness from the sugar. Try this sauce – you’ll love it!


Ingredients

Eel sauce is a yummy Asian condiment made from three simple ingredients.

Ingredients for eel sauce.
  • Soy sauce – Salty soy sauce is the base of this recipe.
  • White sugar – Adds sweetness and a bit of thickness.
  • Mirin – Japanese sweet wine adds extra flavor and offsets the saltiness of the soy sauce.

How to Make Eel Sauce

This eel sauce recipe is simple and easy to make, and far better than anything you’ll buy in the store.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Boil ingredients. Add all the ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Let cool. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Eel sauce in a saucepan.

Substitutions

  • Mirin: You can use sake or rice vinegar instead of mirin.
  • Sugar: You can use a liquid sweetener like agave instead of white sugar.

Variations

Ginger is a great addition to this sauce – I’ll add a bit of grated fresh ginger. I like to add grated fresh ginger. If I am serving with grilled fish or shrimp I will add added minced garlic.

Spoon dripping with eel sauce.

Storage

Once cool, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid until ready to use.

  • Eel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week. Give it a stir before using it, as there may be a little separation.
  • Or place the sauce in a glass jar and store it in the freezer for up to two months.

Tips

  • For a gluten free sauce, gluten free soy sauce or tamari can be used.
  • Don’t boil the sauce for too long as the sugar will burn off. As soon as it starts to boil bring it to a simmer.
Yield: about 1 ½ cups

Eel Sauce

Sushi dipped in eel sauce.

Eel sauce is also known as eel sauce, nitsume, kabayaki sauce. The sweet, salty flavor goes great over grilled fish and sushi.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid until ready to use.

Notes

Mirin: You can use sake or rice vinegar instead of mirin.

Sugar: You can use a liquid sweetener like agave instead of white sugar.

Adding flavors: Ginger is a great addition to this sauce. I like to add grated fresh ginger. I have also added minced garlic which goes well with grilled fish.

Make ahead tips

  1. Eel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week. Give it a stir before using it, as there may be a little separation.
  2. Or lace the sauce in a glass jar and store it in the freezer for up to two months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

2 tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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