Recipe Unagi Kabayaki Japanese Style Grilled Eel with Sweet Soy Sauce

recipe unagi kabayaki japanese style broiled eel bamboo skewer grilled freshwater eel

Unagi Kabayaki

Unagi Kabayaki Recipe.Unagi means japanese freshwater eel, and kabayaki refers broiled unagi fillet. Kabayaki is a japanese style cooking, the eel butterflied from the back side, gutted, deboned, drenched with sweetened soy sauce, skewerred with bamboo skewer then broiled in a charcoal grill until the unagi eel filet cooked. Kabayaki is not only for cooking eel but also several kind of fish like my Sanma Kabayaki or Broiled Pacific Saury in Japanese Sweet Soy Sauce Recipe

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Unagi Kabayaki from Raw Unagi Eel Fillet

recipe ready to eat unagi kabayaki broiled eel japanese grilled eel

Store Brought and Ready to Eat Unagi Kabayaki

Unagi or Japanese freshwater eel is usually available in a Japanese supermarket. Unagi kabayaki is also available ready to eat, usually vaccum packed and frozen, all you need to do is reheated is in a microwave or simply pan fried  it in a skillet. A small pack of unagi kabayaki cost me about 14 USD, i love the umami flavour but not the texture,  the unagi eel meat texture is spongy and flaky instead of moist and succulent. You may seen the frozen japanese eel or unagi, never choose unvaccum sealed eel or any kind of fish fillet, choose only vaccum packed unagi eel fillet otherwise you purchased for tasteless and spongy eel meat.  So i personally i prefer the raw unagi fillet better than then cooked it kabayaki style myself, because the properly vaccum sealed raw unagi eel fillet is still moist and succulent ofter cooked.

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Skewered Broiled Eel or Unagi Kabayaki

Kabayaki style grilled unagi eel usually skewered with bamboo skewer before glazed with swetened soy sauce and broiled over charcoal grill. Asian really depend on bamboo skewer, we used it to made Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce or Chinese Honey Grilled Pork Belly Charsiew. Remember to soak the bamboo skewer  in a cold tab water overnight or simply boiling it for ten minutes before you using it, otherwise the bamboo skewer is easily burned out over the grill.

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Unagi Kabayaki with Sweet and Sticky Swetened Soy Sauce Glaze

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Unagi Kabayaki: Finger Licking Good!

Homemade kabayaki sauce for glazing the gilled unagi or freshwater eel is usually made of 3 parts light soy sauce, 1 part mirin, 1 part sake, and  2 parts white caster sugar by volume.  This is the basic kabayaki sauce recipe and the ratio used to be different for each licking, beside, whole cloves garlic, cinnamon, star anise and sliced ginger added when the kabayaki sauce is simmerred until thickened into half amount. Kabayaki sauce taste sweet because the addition of sugar and mirin (sweet rice wine), so i guess kabayaki sauce should be called swetened soy sauce, do not confuse with kecap manis or Indonesian sweet soy sauce.Making your own unagi kabayaki with store brought kabayaki sauce made your life easier. Store brought kabayaki sauce usually using molases instead of sugar as a swetened agent, this made the store brought kabayaki sauce is not easily burn during the grilling process. That’s why molasses is more preferred than sugar for any glazing barbeque sauce, including kabayaki sauce. Homemade kabayaki sauce is not only suits for grilling fish, but also for chicken fillet, shrimp or any kind of seafoods.

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Homemade Unagi Kabayaki

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Unagi Kabayaki

In Indonesia, we familiar with swamp eel, with many kind of names: asian eel, rice field eel, padi field eel. Slightly different with unagi, swamp eel is finless. The taste is quite similiar, but i guess the  unagi is fattier and meatier than swamp eel. The basic preparation of swamp eel for making kabayaki is also similiar with unagi. You can watch how to do it in how to butterfly eel for kabayaki

recipe unagi kabayaki

Unagi Kabayaki

deep fried eel bone recipe crispy belut goreng garing resep

Deep Fried Eel Bone

I love nose to tail concept of eating, nothing edible part of the animal left behind and discarded. This is the best way to honour the sacrifation of the aniwal live. I love to eat the eel bone, it’s crunchy and crispy. The unagi or japanese eel bone is marinated with salt, pepper and lime juice then deep fried in a medium heat flame uti it’s crisp up, totally scrumptious.  I even ever had a fish bone crusted fish steak in a restaurant, the fish ribs bone deep fried and then crumbled on top of halibut fillet.

resep unagi kabayaki belut panggang jepang kecap manis

Belut Bakar Bumbu Kecap ala Jepang

Growing up in Indonesia is made me familiar with swamp eel, especially in my childhood. Beside the fact that eel is a brain food within it’s essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid that help to improve a chind brain’s neurotransmitter capability that basically made you think faster. In indonesia we used to called griled eel as belut bakar kecap manis  or simply belut panggang kecap. We didn’t use kabayaki sauce for making belut bakar kecap, but it’s using kecap manis or or Indonesia sweet soy sauce, just like my Balinese Style Barbequed Baby Back Ribs sauce. Large swamp eel about 300-400 grams each suits for making kabayaki style grilled eel, but the smaller is usually batterred and deep fried just like my Deep Fried Beer Batter Calamary or Squid Ring.

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Unagi Kabayaki Recipe( Japanese Style Grilled Freshwater Eel with Sweetened Soy Sauce)

Unagi Kabayaki Recipe( Japanese Style Grilled Freshwater Eel with Sweetened Soy Sauce):

  • 2 large unagi or Japanese eel  about 200-300 grams each (You can replace with swamp eel or conger ell or any kind of eel you’ve got)
  • 1 lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup kabayaki sauce and more for glazing the grilled eel
  • Bamboo skewer, soaked in a water overnight to prevent it burning over the grill

How to Make Unagi Kabayaki:

  • You can watch how to preparing live unagi eel for kabayaki here
  • Kill the unagi eel by made incision in the back of the head until the eel died bleeding
  • Cut open the unagi eel from the backside by running a very sharp boning knive alongside the backbone
  • Take out the unagi eel  guts
  • Wash the unagi eel  under a cold  running water, rub  and clean the reddish black part in the center of the cavity  below the back bone
  • Remove the unagi eel back bone by running the sharp boning knive within the backbone from the head to the tail
  • Cut the unagi eel into bite pieces
  • Pat dry the excess moisture using kitchen paper
  • Put the unagi eel fillet in a bambo skewer
  • Apply the  homemade kabayaki sauce all over the unagi eel
  • Broil the kabayaki sauce glazed unagi eel until the kabayaki sauce is caramelised and the unagi eel is cooked through, flip it over to prevent the kabayaki sauce burned out.
  • Apply more kabayaki sauce  in the unagi eel meat side twice during the broiling process
  • Served the unagi kabayaki immediately with steaming hot rice.

Homemade Kabayaki Sauce Recipe for Grilling Unagi or Eel:

  • 300 ml light soy sauce
  • 100 ml mirin
  • 10o ml sake
  • 200 ml molases or sugar (i’m using palm sugar)

How to Make Kabayaki Sauce :

  • Mix all ingredients in a heavy bottom non stick sauce pan, bring it to boil
  • Simmer the kabayaki sauce over low heat until thicken into half

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Paella alla Valenciana, Valencian Paella with Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Vegetables

paella valenciana recipe chicken rabbit snails spanish rice

Paella alla Valenciana Recipe, with Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Vegetables

Paella alla Valenciana or Valencian paella is a famous Spanish rice dish. Paella is both a Valencian and a Catalan word which derived from the  French word paelle and Latin word patella for pan. There are three widely known types of paella; Valencian, Marisco and Mixta (Mix). Valencian paella consists green veggies and land-based protein, Marisco paella consist almost seafood, while Mixta paella consist the mixed ingredients.

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Recipe Spanish Valencian Paella with Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Vegetables

Paella alla Valenciana or authentic Valencian Paella using short-grain white rice like bomba, calasparra or arborio rice along with land protein and veggies. Common meat on it is rabbit, chicken, or duck, but the authentic version may contains game meat like hare, venison, pheasant, quail, or land snails. The common veggies for Valencian paella is many kind of beans, broccoly, carrot, artichoke, fern, bell pepper, tomato, or green peas. Other optional ingredients on valencian paella is chorizo or meat sausages.

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Wongcoco Escargot, Canned Snail or Escargot in Chilli Sauce

escargot snail recipe canned wongcoco

Escargot or Snail for Spanish Valencian Paella

Valencian paella without escargot or land snail or bekicot in Bahasa is not quite “alla valenciana” for me. Paella with  mostly snails rather than meat is consider as poorer version, however, sometimes used nothing more than snails for meat. Finding escargot isn’t that easy in Indonesia, unless you’ve generous enought to visiting inported gourmet supermarket. I purchased a couple of small tin of escargot snail or daging bekicot kalengan once i luckily spot it on Carrefour Supermarket Palembang. This canned escargot or snail in chilli sauce is a product of WONG COCO®, a trusted Indonesian food company. If you lucky enought to access the live snail, you should keep it on a clean box without any food for cleaning it’s intestine prior to cooking. You could use the African land snail that available in most asian country too, i’ve using it for my French Style ESCARGOT Recipe and i guess like it for it’s chewy and yet crunchy texture.

recipe paella valenciana spanish saffron rabbit chicken snail escargot

Recipe Valencian Paella with Red Rice, Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Vegetables

Valencian paella seasoning basically contains saffron threads, fresh rosemary, sweet or smoked paprika powder, garlic, shallots, salt, freshly grounded peppercorn, olive oil and water or stock. Saffron is the key ingredients of authentic paella, nothing could replace the pungent safranal aromas, but you can replace it with turmeric powder only for it’s yellow color. I guess you should invest on good grade Spanish or Italian saffron called “zafferano dell’Aquila” for your kitchen spice rack, trust me, it’s worth for the money.

recipe valencian paella chicken rabbit snail spanish rice

Recipe Paella Valenciana with Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Veggies

Making paella alla valenciana is quite tricky, simply because it’s contains several meat and vegetables that needed different time to cooking. Basically, the tougher meat and veggies is sauteed and cooked in liquid  with the rice, while the easily cooked ingredients is  placed over the  nearly cooked rice. I’m using short grain red rice for making this paella recipe, that’s why i need prolonged the soaking process for about 1 hour instead of 30 minutes. The asian red rice contains more fibre then it isn’t as easy to tenderised the regular short grain rice. You could see the  step by step pictorial making paella on my Seafood Paella alla Marisco Recipe.

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Paella alla Valenciana

bottom scrapped rice valencian paella recipe socarrat

Soccarat, The Best Part of Paella: Toasted, Charred and Slighly Blackened Rice in The Bottom of The Pan

The best part of paella is the layer of charred and toasted (blackened) rice at the bottom of the pan called socarrat in Spain. The The toasted rice develops on its own if the paella is cooked over a burner or open fire. If cooked in an oven, however, it will not, but you can made the socarrat by exposing the the pan over a high flame while listening to the rice toast at the bottom of the pan. Once the aroma of toasted rice wafts upwards, remove it from the heat, then the paella must then sit with lid covered for about ten minutes  before serving. Some recipes call for paella to be covered and left to settle for five or ten minutes after cooking.

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Recipe Valencian Paella with Chicken, Rabbit. Snail and Vegetables

Recipe Paella alla Valenciana, Valencian Paella with Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Veggies Recipe:


  • 1 1/2 cups short grain red rice (you can replace with regular short grain rice)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup rabbit meat, diced
  • 1/2 cup snail meat (approzimately 20 snails), cleaned
  • 2 chorizo, cut 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced broccoly florset
  • 1/4 cup diced french bean
  • 1/4 cup diced  fern
  • 1 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 10 cherry tomato, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemarry, finely chopped
  • a pinch of saffron, soaked in cold water
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
paella valencian recipe ingredients

Paella Valencian Ingredients: chicken meat, rabbit meat, and canned snails or escargot

How to Make Valencian Paella:

  • Wash and clean the red rice in running water until the water is comes clear, let is soaked in water for about 1 hour prior to cooking, drained well
  • Heat up the olive oil in a pan, fry the chicken and rabbit at medium heat until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic, onion, shallots, carrot, snail or escargot and chorizo half way, sautee until the shallots and onion is tenderand translucent
  • Add the red rice and saute it until  slighly browned and toasted.
  • Pour 1 cup stock, season it with soaked saffron, rosemarry, salt and peper,  let it boil and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add another cup of broth and bring it to boil and evaporates
  • Add the rest of the ingredients in the pan, pour the remaining stock and cover the paella with lid, let it simmer until the rice is tender
  • Add more water if necessary until the rice is throughly cooked
  • For the last 1 to 2 minutes increase the heat to medium-high, until the bottom layer of rice starts to caramelize, creating what Valencians call socarrat, if the rice starts to burn remove the pan from the heat immediately.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes prior to serving.

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