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Old 10-01-2006, 07:32 PM   #1
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ISO sweet sauce

My mom bought this unagi (eel) with a very delicious sauce with it.

It's a sweet sauce. similar to the sauce they served with Gindara Fish in Japanese restaurants (brown sauce that is quite sweet)

Any idea/ copycat recommendations?

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Old 10-01-2006, 09:39 PM   #2
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The sauce is called kabayaki. You can either buy it prepared in a Japanese foods specialty market or here's a recipe. You probably won't find it in the Asian section of your local grocer since it's not an item that would be common like soy sauce or oyster sauce.

http://japanesefood.about.com/od/sau...ayakisauce.htm

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Old 10-01-2006, 10:53 PM   #3
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I found a bottle of the sauce at my Asian grocer - it tastes exactly like what's on the eel.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:30 AM   #4
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thanks ironchef, i'll try that recipe :)
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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I have a couple recipes for this too...

The first is what I started with, Dave Kodama's -

4-C Sake (Rice Wine)
1-C Mirin (Sweet Rice Wine)
1-C Shoyu (Japanese Soy Sauce)
1-C Sugar
1-t Hondashi (Japanese Soup Base)

But the real kabayaki/nitsume sauce is a heavily reduced stock made from the heads and spines of the Eels that are filleted. The traditional recipe (rarely seen in restaurants) involves filling the base of a pot with eel heads/bones, and adding (to cover) 7 parts water, 1 part soy sauce, 1 part mirin, 1 part sake. You then add sugar to sweeten. Seeing as I don't have eel heads lying around, I came up with the following recipe...

2-C Dashi (A Japanese Stock)
3/4-C Sake
1/4-C Shoyu
1/2-C Sugar

I'm not a big fan of mirin. To me it seems like cheap sake with corn syrup added to it, so I omit it for just plain good sake and sugar. A good homemade dashi takes minutes to make with bonito and kelp, and is an excellent substitute for the eel stock. It has a delicate yet intoxicating aroma and flavor (it's also the base of any good Miso soup). To make the nitsume, simply combine the ingredients in a saucier and reduce over medium-high heat to a thin syrup (it will thicken considerably as it cools).

I usually stock a couple packs of Unagi in my freezer. I get it pre-charcoal grilled and frozen from Catalina Offshore Products for about $5/eel. I use to eat the stuff like crazy, but now I only keep it for when non-sushi eaters come over and want to try some sushi for the first time. It usually goes over better than serving them a battleship of uni...

Making the rice is actually the longest and most drawn out process...
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:57 AM   #6
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$5/eel... I think Unagi Nigiri runs about $3 for two slivers at my local sushi bars...

You can make 20+ pieces with one $5 eel...

I've read that the traditional way to eat it is simply in a bowl over some rice with the sauce on top. I remember something about a certain time of year when people eat a butt-load of it in Japan (maybe new years?).
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