What kind of dish is this?
This is a Japanese dish in which long-fleshed fish is processed using advanced techniques, and the process of grilling, dipping in the sauce, grilling, and dipping in the sauce is repeated.
It is a very similar dish to Teriyaki.
Excess fat is removed from the fish while it is blended with the fat of the ingredients and the sauce.
The photo shows Unadon, a rice-bowl style version of eel Kabayaki.
Home-style sauce is made with soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. The ingredients are the same as for teriyaki sauce.
The difference between Teriyaki and Kabayaki is here → Teriyaki
※Kabayaki’s sauce = Professionals make the sauce by simmering eel heads and bones with soy sauce and other ingredients.
・Kaba = Typha latifolia
・Yaki = Cook / Grill
Because the sight of eels being cut into tubes, skewered and grilled looked like Typha latifolia.
This name is the oldest recorded in 1399.
※There are other theories.
Excavations have shown that eels have been eaten since B.C., and records show that they were recognized as a nourishing food in the 7th and 8th centuries.
But, the way it is eaten and seasoned differs from the modern style.
For a long time, it was skewered, grilled and seasoned with salt and vinegar.
And it wasn’t until the 18th century that the modern style was born.
When the Shogun (It’s like a general.) developed Tokyo in the late 16th century, eels came to inhabit the wetlands created by the settlement.
As a result, eels became popular among workers as a cheap snack to be eaten at standing food stands.
At this time, however, eels were still cut into tubes, grilled on skewers, and seasoned with salt and vinegar.
The early 18th century saw the birth of the modern style of cooking, in which eels were split open, boned and skewered.
At this time, salt-grilled and other methods of cooking were still mainstream, but this changed with the development of a new type of soy sauce near Tokyo.
They began to be seasoned with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar.
Thus was born the modern style.
※Japanese soy sauce = the process of making miso was introduced from China, and the liquid (soy sauce) isolated from the miso was identified in 1254. It was during the 15th and 16th centuries that soy sauce became known in Japan.
※Outside of Tokyo, soy sauce became popular a little earlier. It wasn’t until the 18th century that Tokyo’s favorite soy sauce was developed and popularized.
With the development and popularization of soy sauce, which the people of Tokyo loved, the eel Kabayaki also became popular.
By 1852, there were 221 recorded eel shops in Tokyo alone.
In 1879, there was a shortage of natural eels.
So eel farming was started.
Later, eel farming began all over Japan and the modern style of Kabayaki was also known.
・Unadon ＝ Put the eels in a rice bowl with cooked rice and place the eels on top. Generally, farmed eels are used.
・Unaju ＝ Place the eels in a special box with cooked rice. Natural eel is often used. Tasty parts are used and the quantity is greater than in Unadon.
※The standards vary from store to store.
Like most Japanese I do not have the skills to fillet a eels.
So the eels in the picture are the ones I bought from the supermarket, pre-cooked.
★I don’t have a recipe as these are purchased eels. Instead, I posted various photos.