Welcome! Ever wondered why a particular type of Japanese sauce is called “eel sauce?” Many Americans associate eel sauce with sushi, but the connection is more than just typical Japanese cuisine.
In this article, we’ll explore the history, ingredients, and cultural aspects of eel sauce and examine why it’s so popular in Japanese culture. So, why is eel sauce called eel sauce?
Let’s take a look and find out!
Why Is It called Eel Sauce?Eel sauce is a sweet, salty, and savory sauce used in many Asian cuisines. It’s served as an accompaniment to dishes like sushi and sashimi, or used to marinate meats and vegetables.
But how did it get its name? Let’s find out why it’s called eel sauce.
HistoryThe name eel sauce dates back to the Edo period in Japan, when Japanese cooks created a sauce specifically to be served with fire-roasted eel. The sauce was a combination of soy sauce, sake, mirin, and some sweetening agents, and it was an accompaniment to the popular dish unagi no Kabayaki, or grilled eel. The popularity of the dish increased over time and eventually this sweet and savory sauce became more widely used in all types of Asian cuisine, not just for eel.
It was given the same name, however, and this is why it is still referred to as eel sauce today.
Taste and TextureEel sauce has a sweet and savory flavor, with a hint of saltiness.
The texture is thicker than soy sauce or teriyaki sauce and it is a dark reddish-brown color. Many recipes use a variety of ingredients to make a unique blend that matches the flavor profile of the dish.