I've always love eating this dark eel sauce that goes with eel rolls at our favorite sushi restaurants. It's got a dark color it's sweet, a little salty, and slightly savory.

What is in eel sauce? What makes it sweet and so concentrated with flavor? Also, why is it called eel sauce?

  • I am sad to hear that there is soy in eel sauce. It is tough to do sushi while avoiding soy. – user17250 Mar 13 '13 at 20:40


  • sweet -> sugar+mirin (rice wine)
  • salt -> soy
  • savory -> soy+mirin+eel bones

At home, you probably won't be able to manage eel bones boiled down into stock. Ignoring that, it's all a matter of mixing and reducing.

Sugar+soy+mirin, reduce to 1/3, revel in the joy of caramel and salt and sharpness.

  • You could also just reduce teriyaki or tempura sauce if you have them lying around - they're all pretty similar in taste, minus the eel bones. – Aaronut Nov 26 '11 at 17:46
  • You could also possibly add some powdered dashi stock, for savory - it's not eel but it is made from fish and tends to add an umami flavor. – Yamikuronue Nov 29 '11 at 13:51
  • Heck, you might even be able to get away with sardines, very finely processed and strained, if you really cut the amount of soy. Experiment! – user14208 Nov 7 '12 at 14:31
  • 1
    @Dave Griffith, Mirin is not rice wine vinegar; but rather a type of rice wine, that is similar to sake (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirin). Rice wine vinegar is something else (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_vinegar). – user14269 Nov 12 '12 at 15:08
  • @TheDude I edited the answer to reflect this. – Preston Mar 13 '13 at 22:02

The preparation is called Kabayaki, hence the Eel sauce is also called Kabayaki sauce.

Ingredients list:

  1. Hon Mirin: Alcohol & sweetness
  2. Naturally fermented soy sauce: Umami & saltiness
  3. Eel / fish bones: flavour(smell)

protected by Community Mar 13 '13 at 20:54

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.