What is in eel sauce?

  • I've always love eating this dark eel sauce that goes with eel rolls at our favorite sushi restaurants. It's got a dark color it's sweet, a little salty, and slightly savory.

    What is in eel sauce? What makes it sweet and so concentrated with flavor? Also, why is it called eel sauce?

    I am sad to hear that there is soy in eel sauce. It is tough to do sushi while avoiding soy.

  • Components:

    • sweet -> sugar+mirin (rice wine)
    • salt -> soy
    • savory -> soy+mirin+eel bones

    At home, you probably won't be able to manage eel bones boiled down into stock. Ignoring that, it's all a matter of mixing and reducing.

    Sugar+soy+mirin, reduce to 1/3, revel in the joy of caramel and salt and sharpness.

    You could also just reduce teriyaki or tempura sauce if you have them lying around - they're all pretty similar in taste, minus the eel bones.

    You could also possibly add some powdered dashi stock, for savory - it's not eel but it is made from fish and tends to add an umami flavor.

    Heck, you might even be able to get away with sardines, very finely processed and strained, if you really cut the amount of soy. Experiment!

    @Dave Griffith, Mirin is not rice wine vinegar; but rather a type of rice wine, that is similar to sake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirin). Rice wine vinegar is something else (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_vinegar).

    @TheDude I edited the answer to reflect this.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM