Homemade Eel Sauce Recipe

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Are you a big fan of Japanese food? Then, you must surely know about Unagi sauce, Kabayaki sauce, or in simple terms, Eel sauce! This sauce works exceptionally well with most Japanese food and, of course, sushi, and sashimi! Here is a simple recipe for making this sauce right at home! 

Eel Sauce

Those who aren’t familiar with Asian cooking as much might find the thought of making a whole sauce at home quite intimidating! But don’t worry, this recipe can be put together in no time and is made with the simplest ingredients. 

Moreover, whenever buying eel sauce from the supermarket, all those extra preservatives can be avoided if you make this recipe at home. Also, if you’ve got some sushi and realize you don’t have any eel sauce to complement it, this one can be put together instantly! 

The eel sauce can be used for several different recipes, which don’t necessarily have to be Japanese in origin. The perfect umami flavor of this sauce works well with several Asian-inspired recipes that you could easily try out with a little trial and error! 

In this article, you will find a guide on making this delicious sauce at home, with all the detailed instructions needed to go along with it. Now, without any delay, let us discuss this recipe right away! 

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Eel Sauce? 

  • Measuring Cups – With Asian-origin sauces, getting the proportions of the ingredients right is quite important. It is mainly because most ingredients have a savory flavor, so it is vital to get the balance right with precise measurements for which measuring cups will be needed. 
  • Saucepan – A medium-sized saucepan will be needed for this recipe to bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer it further. 
  • Whisk – A whisk will help you mix all the ingredients while simmering them in the saucepan. 
  • Bowl – Lastly, once the sauce is ready, we will transfer it to a medium-sized bowl. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Eel Sauce? 

Preparation TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
5 Minutes10 Minutes15 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Eel Sauce? 

  • Soy Sauce – Soy sauce forms the base of this recipe, which gives the sauce an umami flavor. Here, you will need ½ cup of light soy sauce. 
  • Sugar – About half a cup of regular granulated sugar will help balance out the flavors and give the sauce a much-needed sweetness. 
  • Mirin – Mirin, or Japanese Sweet Wine, will help give this sauce an acidic flavor, and around ½ cup of the same will be needed for this recipe. 
Eel Sauce 1

Steps To Make Eel Sauce

1. Prepare The Sauce And Cool

The recipe barely takes time and is ready with just a single step. Start by adding all three ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan and then place over medium heat. Let the sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes while stirring until it gets thick. 

The sauce should be reduced to ¾ the number of ingredients that you started with. Once done, take the sauce off the flame and transfer it to a bowl. Let it cool, and then serve it as a side or use this sauce for cooking different recipes! 

Ways To Use Eel Sauce While Cooking

Below are some of my favorite ways to incorporate eel sauce into different recipes. 

  • Grilled Vegetables – Eel sauce adds a lot of flavor to simple grilled vegetables! Add a dash of eel sauce to your veggies while you grill them to give them a charred flavor along with the umami. 
  • Chicken – Step aside, Chicken Teriyaki! If you want to try a twist on the classic chicken teriyaki, try using eel sauce instead of teriyaki sauce. 
  • BBQ Pork – The umami flavor of eel sauce pairs well with bbq pork, and just like the grilled veggies, this sauce can be added to the bbq sauce itself. 
  • Noodles – A lovely stir-fried noodle or rice dish will taste exceptionally better with just a dash of eel sauce. 
  • Steak Marinade – Instead of using vinegar, add eel sauce to your steak marinade for extra flavor. 
  • Grilled Fish – Grilled fish can be finished with some eel sauce for a kick of umami! 
  • Pizza – Lastly, you may have seen a lot of pizzas that are drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Well, you can easily switch the balsamic vinegar with eel sauce! 

Nutritional Information

Calories121 kcal
Carbohydrates25 g
Protein1 g
Sodium1203 mg
Potassium47 mg
Fiber0 g
Sugar23 g
Calcium6 mg
Iron0 mg

How Will The Eel Sauce Look And Taste Like? 

Finally, coming down to the main question here! Well, as far as looks go, the homemade eel sauce will look just like eel sauce bought from a supermarket. The sauce will be dark in color, with a thick and dense consistency. 

Coming to the flavor of this sauce, the first thing you will taste is a whole burst of umami. However, it is perfectly balanced with the rest of the flavors in this sauce: the sourness from the mirin and the sweetness from the sugar. 

Recipe Card

Eel Sauce 2

Eel Sauce Recipe

Eel sauce is one of the staples for Japanese cuisine. If you are all out of eel sauce at the last moment, you can easily make some at home by following this recipe, all it takes is a few ingredients and a single step!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dips and Sauces
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 121 kcal


Measuring cups


  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Mirin


  • Add the soy sauce, sugar, and mirin into a saucepan.
  • Heat over a medium flame for 8-10 minutes while stirring.
  • Let the sauce simmer until it reduces to ¾ the number of ingredients you started with and has a thick texture.
  • Take the saucepan off the flame and transfer the sauce into a bowl. Serve as a dipping sauce once cool, or use it for cooking!


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1203mg | Potassium: 47mg | Sugar: 23g | Calcium: 6mg
Keyword Eel Sauce Recipe, Japanese cuisine, Sauces
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a substitute for mirin in this recipe? 

If you don’t have mirin, you can use Sake, sherry, or even rice vinegar instead. 

What sort of soy sauce needs to be used for this recipe? 

Regarding flavor, light soy sauce would work best for this recipe. 

Is it necessary to add sugar to this recipe? 

The sugar will help add sweetness to the sauce, which is much needed to balance the flavors. 

Do you need to add Dashi to this recipe? 

Although it isn’t necessary, you can add half a cup of the same for a richer flavor if you would like. 


Eel sauce is an almost mandatory condiment while enjoying some Japanese food. This recipe is quick and easy to make, and after you try this out, you will never buy eel sauce from a supermarket again! The perfect umami flavor balances out with the rest, making this sauce versatile enough for dipping and cooking! 

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