Unadon is s a popular donburi (rice bowl) dish made with unagi kabayaki (grilled eel coated with a sweet sauce). I like it alot. But I always refrain from ordering this when I visit Japanese Restaurant. Because they always gives me miserable portion of Unagi!
There's 2 shops located at Chinatown wet market sells fresh eel, catfish, frogs, turtles, & etc. Sometimes they have seasonal item too. This is one of the shop...
And I spotted fresh eel! :)
I bought 3 eel at S$9.00. I get the fish monger to prepare it and removed the bones. The size of this eel is just fine. Not too small and not too big. If you were to get a bigger eel, the meat & the skin of the eel might not be that tender. And moreover, with this size, it's easier to pan-fry it. I'll show you later...
All I need to do is to wash it, and cut it into 5 inch length. This is a very slimy fish. It's really difficult to grab it when I'm doing the cutting. It must be done in a very careful way. I almost cut myself while I'm doing the cutting. How I wish the fish monger could do this for me too. Anyway, this is good enough to serve 3 adults.
Lightly pan sear it. The trick is that I have to kept pressing it using potato mashers. Or else, the fish will shrink like nobody's business! And it won't be in a flat piece that we used to see in the Unadon selling in Japanese Restaurant. If you are going for grilling method, use a satay stick to stick them together, this is the olden days method, to ensure the shrunk eels are still in shape. I wanted to do that actually, but Max bought the super thick satay stick! And I have hard time using the satay stick to join the eels together. So, I don't bother anymore..
You see, when the eel is on the pan, it will shrink, and the size of the potato masher is just nice to get the shrunk eel pressed evenly. Not too big, not too small. This is one of the reason why I say, the size of the eel is just nice.
Don't you ever think that I really will make this from scratch. I don't have the time. And putting effort to get fresh eels is already very big effort ok? Hahahs.. Anyway, I use this...
Dip the Unagi into the sauce, pan-fry it a minute on each side. Dip the Unagi into the sauce again, and pan-fry it another minute on each side, and the Unagi is done!
If you have more time, you could go ahead and leave the Unagi in the glazing sauce longer. Probably 15mins? I guess it would be tastier. I didn't do that, because I don't have the time tho. Probably next time...
I cooked 1.5 cups of Koshihikari Rice using rice cooker at another side. With the good quality Japanese rice, this gives me a complete Unadon. I sprinkled some Japanese chilli powder, to give it a mild spiciness.
Here's the full ingredient that I used...
- 1.5 cups of Koshihikari Rice, cook it using rice cooker
- 3 small sized eels. You should have 6 eels fillet at 5 inch length.
- half bottles of shop bought Unagi Basting Sauce
- some cooking oil for pan-frying Unagi
- some Japanese chilli flakes (optional)
- some spring onions & japanese cucumber for garnishing
How much does a bowl of Unadon cost you in Japanese Restaurant? S$12.90?
Yea. He's happy. That's obvious isn't it?