What Does Unagi Taste Like?

Unagi Taste

If you have been to a Japanese restaurant you will notice that unagi is always on the menu, this is because it is very popular in Japan and they incorporate it in their dishes. The name might get you wondering about what type of a food unagi is and how it tastes, but do not worry this article will give you an insight of what unagi is, what it tastes like, its health benefits as well as how it can be cooked.


What is unagi?

Unagi is a name for the Japanese fresh water eel called commonly known as Anguilla japonica. It is a very common ingredient in Japanese cooking. Unagi is an elongated fatty fish, rich and bold in flavour and it is mainly used to make Asian cuisines. In Japanese restaurants it is used to make sushi however, it is important to know that it can never be eaten raw because unagi has toxins in its blood that can kill all animals. Unagi is delicious when smoked, but can also be pan-fried, sautéed, or incorporated into soups. The tastiest type of unagi is usually caught wild rather than bred in eel farms. However, if you cannot find wild unagi in your grocery store then you can consider using the one that is bred in farms. Unagi usually has a length which is between 12 and 20 inches long.

What does unagi taste like

The taste of unagi is a light and sweet flavour which is not over powering and also very palatable. Some people suggest that unagi tastes like a sweet, firm fleshed white fish. Unagi is soft and chewy and it has a porous texture that makes it ideal for saucy preparations, since the meat is able to soak up all the juices.  Dishes that are prepared using unagi are always moist and flavourful. Although unagi is a type of eel, it is does not have a fishy after taste as compared to a salt water eel. When cooked unagi tastes flavourful depending on the sauce used to glaze it or other ingredients that were used when cooking it. This is because unagi usually takes the flavour of the ingredients used to cook it.

Nutrients and health benefits of unagi

The Japanese incorporate unagi in their dishes because it has a number of health benefits that is why Japan is one of the countries with the healthiest population. Unagi contains a number of minerals and nutrients which are essential in strengthening the human immune system. It has a high phosphorus content which helps to balance the body’s PH levels by improving digestion through increasing metabolism, and eliminating all toxins thus, enabling the body to better absorb nutrients. Furthermore unagi is rich in vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, and B12 which are vitamins essential in building up a strong body which is not prone to diseases like breast cancer.  It also contains rich omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Unagi also contains minerals that reduce wrinkles and promote healthy skin. Moreover, the other benefit of unagi is that is helps to reduce the chances of getting dementia since it has a lot of minerals and vitamins that play an essential role in cognitive development. So the next time you walk into a restaurant or a shop do not hesitate to buy unagi since it contains a lot of nutrients which are beneficial to human health.

What unagi can be used for

Use unagi to make sushi

You can also use unagi to make sushi. It is important to note that when using unagi for sushi you first have to cook it since it cannot be eaten whilst it is raw because it is very poisonous. If you have been to Japanese restaurants you might have noticed that they use unagi for their sushi but it will not be raw.

Use unagi to make unadon

Unadon is a Japanese dish which consists of a donburi type large bowl which is filled with steamed rice and topped with unagi. It is made using grilled unagi that is glazed using a sweetened soy based sauce known as tare and then caramelised. The unagi is then grilled and it is placed on top of the steamed rice. When making this dish it is important to use Japanese rice and not the ordinary long grain rice.  So if you are keen about food then you can check out the full recipe if you are interested in trying it.


Unagi is a Japanese name for freshwater eel. It is used to cook many Asian cuisines and it has a light, sweet flavour which is not over powering, but also very palatable. It is important to note that unagi need to be cooked first before eating it because it contains poison, so if you consume it in its raw state you will die. Unagi has a porous texture that absorbs flavour so when it is served it will be moist and full of flavour. It usually takes the flavour of whatever it is cooked with so the flavour of unagi varies depending on the ingredients you have cooked it with.  Unagi also has a number of nutrients as well as health benefits. Unagi contain phosphorus which is essential for balancing the body’s PH levels by improving digestion, metabolism, and eliminating all toxins. It also contains vitamins which are essential for boosting the body’s immune system. There are a number of ways in which unagi can be used to make dishes, for example it can be used to make sushi and also it can be used to make unadon which is a traditional dish in Japan that contains steamed rice and unagi. So if you didn’t have any idea of what unagi is or if you were afraid to try it, now is the best time to try it, you now have an idea of what it is, how it tastes, its health benefits and also how it can be used to cook meals.

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