Japan Loves Unagi!
Unagi, the Japanese word for freshwater eel, is a staple dish in Japanese cuisine. In Japan there are thousands of restaurants which serve only freshwater eel (you won't find unagi at sushi restaurants in Japan, which traditionally serve only marine fish). Listed below, are the different ways to enjoy eel in Japan (and now in New York!): shirayaki, shiradon, kabayaki and unaju.
The eel is split down in two, gutted and boned, cut into fillets, and grilled without sauce over ancient Japanese oak on a charcoal grill.
"Shiraju" is eel without sauce served on a bed of Japanese short-grain rice.
The eel is split down in two, gutted and boned, and then cut into fillets. It is then dipped in a sweet soy sauce-based sauce before being broiled on a charcoal grill.
In "Unaju" dishes, the eel glazed with Kabayaki sauce is served on a bed of Japanese short-grain rice.