What goes with Eel
Category Ingredients that Pair with Eel
Fruits Lemon, Pineapple, Apricot
Vegetables Cucumber, Radish, Seaweed
Spices/Herbs Ginger, Wasabi, Soy sauce
Proteins Sushi rice, Shrimp, Avocado
Breads & Grains Sushi rolls, Sticky rice, Noodles
Drinks Sake, White wines, Green tea

If you’re wondering what dishes and flavours pair well with eel, you’ve come to the right place. In Japan, eel is often served with light and subtle-flavoured dishes to balance out its richness.

Common condiments to serve with eel include ground sansho pepper and a sweet soy sauce called tare. One popular way to eat eel is in a dish called Unadon, which features grilled eel fillets glazed with a homemade unagi sauce and served on a bed of steamed rice.

Other dishes that go well with eel include Shirayaki (grilled eel without sauce), Hitsumabushi (eel served in a three or four-piece arrangement with condiments), eel nigiri sushi, eel hone senbei (eel bone crackers), umaki and amaki (eel wrapped in omelet), kimoyaki (grilled eel liver), and kimosui (a soup made with boiled eel livers).

When it comes to beverages, both dry and sweet nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine) and beer are popular choices to accompany eel. Overall, there are endless culinary possibilities when it comes to pairing eel with other dishes in Japanese cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Eel pairs well with light and subtle-flavoured dishes in Japanese cuisine.
  • Popular eel dishes include Unadon, Shirayaki, Hitsumabushi, eel nigiri sushi, and umaki.
  • Condiments like ground sansho pepper and tare sauce complement the richness of eel.
  • Dry and sweet nihon-shu and beer are popular beverage choices to accompany eel.
  • Experimenting with creative eel culinary combinations can lead to unique and delicious dishes.

Traditional Japanese Eel Dishes

When it comes to traditional Japanese eel dishes, there are several options that beautifully showcase the flavors of eel. Japanese cuisine has long revered eel for its delicate taste and versatility in various culinary preparations. One popular dish is Unadon, which features grilled eel fillets glazed with a homemade unagi sauce and served on a bed of steamed rice. The rich and slightly sweet sauce enhances the natural flavors of the eel, creating a harmonious combination.

Another classic eel dish is Shirayaki, where the eel is simply grilled without any sauce. This minimalist preparation allows the natural flavors of the eel to shine through, perfect for those who prefer a lighter and more subtle taste. Hitsumabushi is another favorite, with the eel served in a three or four-piece arrangement alongside condiments like green onions, wasabi, and seaweed. Diners can enjoy the eel in different ways by dividing the dish into portions and savoring it with or without the condiments.

For sushi lovers, eel nigiri sushi is a must-try. The eel is typically grilled and brushed with a sweet soy-based sauce, resulting in a delightful combination of textures and flavors. In addition, eel can also be enjoyed in other unique dishes such as eel hone senbei (eel bone crackers), umaki and amaki (eel wrapped in omelet), kimoyaki (grilled eel liver), and kimosui (a soup made with boiled eel livers). These dishes offer a diverse range of tastes and textures, showcasing the versatility of eel in Japanese cuisine.

eel dish

When it comes to beverages, both dry and sweet nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine) and beer are popular choices to accompany eel dishes. The subtle flavors of these drinks complement the richness of the eel, creating a balanced and enjoyable dining experience. Whether you’re a fan of traditional eel dishes or looking to explore new culinary combinations, Japanese cuisine offers a wide array of options to satisfy your taste buds.

If you’re looking to explore beyond traditional eel dishes, there are several popular pairings and accompaniments that enhance the flavors of eel. In Japan, eel is often served with light and subtle-flavored dishes to balance out its richness. Common condiments to serve with eel include ground sansho pepper and a sweet soy sauce called tare. These condiments add an extra layer of flavor and enhance the natural taste of the eel.

One popular way to enjoy eel is in a dish called Unadon, which features grilled eel fillets glazed with a homemade unagi sauce and served on a bed of steamed rice. The combination of the savory sauce, tender eel, and fluffy rice creates a harmonious balance of flavors. This dish is often served with pickles and miso soup to complement the richness of the eel.

For those who prefer eel without sauce, Shirayaki is a great option. It consists of grilled eel fillets seasoned simply with salt, allowing the natural flavors of the eel to shine. Hitsumabushi is another popular dish that involves serving eel in a three or four-piece arrangement with condiments such as chopped green onions, wasabi, and seaweed. Each piece of eel is enjoyed in different ways, allowing you to savor the eel in various combinations of flavors.

Eel can also be incorporated into sushi. The combination of the slightly sweet and smoky eel with the vinegared rice creates a delightful contrast of flavors and textures. Other creative eel dishes include eel hone senbei, which are crunchy eel bone crackers, umaki and amaki, where eel is wrapped in omelet, and kimoyaki, which is grilled eel liver.

When it comes to beverage pairings, both dry and sweet nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine) and beer are popular choices. The crisp and refreshing nature of these beverages complements the richness of the eel, creating a well-rounded dining experience.

So, whether you prefer traditional eel dishes or want to venture into more creative culinary combinations, there are plenty of options to explore when it comes to pairing eel with other dishes, condiments, and beverages. The versatility of eel ensures that there is something to suit every palate and satisfy your culinary curiosity.

Traditional Eel Dishes Eel Pairings Eel Beverage Pairings
Unadon Ground sansho pepper Dry nihon-shu
Shirayaki Sweet soy sauce (tare) Sweet nihon-shu
Hitsumabushi Pickles Beer
Eel nigiri sushi Miso soup
Eel hone senbei

Creative Eel Culinary Combinations

If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen, eel can be paired with a wide range of ingredients and flavors to create unique and delicious culinary combinations. The smoky and slightly sweet flavor of eel lends itself well to fusion dishes and inventive cooking techniques.

One example of a creative eel dish is eel tempura. The crispy batter contrasts beautifully with the tender eel, creating a delightful combination of textures. Other possibilities include eel tacos, where the eel is marinated with spices and served in a tortilla with fresh salsa and avocado, or eel stir-fry, where the eel is cooked with vegetables and served over rice or noodles.

For a more elegant option, you can try eel paired with foie gras. The rich and buttery foie gras complements the smoky eel, creating a luxurious flavor profile. Another interesting combination is eel and truffle, where the earthy and aromatic truffle enhances the depth of flavor in the eel.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creative eel culinary combinations. Experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques to discover your own unique eel dishes that will delight your taste buds.

eel pairing image

Creative Eel Culinary Combinations

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, there are plenty of creative culinary combinations that incorporate eel. This versatile ingredient can be paired with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique and delicious dishes. Whether you’re a fan of fusion cuisine or simply looking to explore new tastes, there’s something for everyone when it comes to eel culinary combinations.

One popular and innovative way to enjoy eel is by incorporating it into pasta dishes. The rich and flavorful eel meat pairs beautifully with pasta, creating a dish that is both hearty and delicious. Try tossing sautéed eel with linguine, garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of chili flakes for a spicy kick. Finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a burst of freshness.

For those who prefer a lighter option, eel can be used to create delightful salads. Combine grilled eel with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing for a refreshing and satisfying salad. The combination of the smoky eel with the crisp greens and creamy avocado creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

If you’re a fan of sushi, why not try incorporating eel into your rolls? Eel nigiri sushi is a popular choice, where a slice of grilled eel is placed on top of a bed of sushi rice and then drizzled with a sweet and savory eel sauce. The combination of the tender eel and the subtle flavors of the rice creates a sushi roll that is truly decadent.

Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different eel culinary combinations. The options are endless, and you might discover a new favorite dish along the way. Whether you choose to go traditional or try something out of the box, eel is sure to add a unique and delicious twist to any culinary creation.

Table: Eel Culinary Combinations

Dish Description
Eel Pasta Sautéed eel served with pasta, garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes.
Eel Salad Grilled eel combined with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
Eel Nigiri Sushi A slice of grilled eel placed on top of sushi rice and drizzled with eel sauce.

Eel Culinary Combinations

Eel and Beverage Pairings

To complete your eel dining experience, consider pairing your dish with a carefully selected beverage. Whether you prefer something crisp and refreshing or bold and full-bodied, there are several options that complement the flavors of eel.

In Japan, it is common to enjoy eel with traditional beverages such as dry and sweet nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine) and beer. The delicate flavors of the eel are balanced by the subtle sweetness of the rice wine, creating a harmonious combination. Sipping on a cold beer also provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the eel.

If you prefer something non-alcoholic, green tea is a popular choice to accompany eel dishes. The earthy and slightly bitter notes of green tea pair well with the savory flavors of eel, creating a well-rounded palate experience.

For those looking for a more adventurous pairing, consider trying a light-bodied white wine or a crisp sparkling wine. These wines provide a refreshing and acidic counterbalance to the richness of the eel, enhancing the overall dining experience.

eel and beverage pairings

Beverage Flavor Profile Pairing Notes
Nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine) Dry or sweet Subtle sweetness balances the richness of eel
Beer Crisp and refreshing Provides a contrast to the richness of eel
Green tea Earthy and slightly bitter Pairs well with the savory flavors of eel
Light-bodied white wine Refreshing and acidic Enhances the overall dining experience
Crisp sparkling wine Refreshing and acidic Provides a lively contrast to the richness of eel

Conclusion

In conclusion, the options for pairing eel with other dishes and flavors are vast, allowing you to create a truly memorable dining experience.

When it comes to pairing eel with other dishes, there are several options. In Japan, eel is often served with light and subtle-flavoured dishes to balance out its richness. Common condiments to serve with eel include ground sansho pepper and a sweet soy sauce called tare.

One popular way to eat eel is in a dish called Unadon, which features grilled eel fillets glazed with a homemade unagi sauce and served on a bed of steamed rice. Other dishes that go well with eel include Shirayaki (grilled eel without sauce), Hitsumabushi (eel served in a three or four-piece arrangement with condiments), eel nigiri sushi, eel hone senbei (eel bone crackers), umaki and amaki (eel wrapped in omelet), kimoyaki (grilled eel liver), and kimosui (a soup made with boiled eel livers).

When it comes to beverages, both dry and sweet nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine) and beer are popular choices to accompany eel. Overall, there are endless culinary possibilities when it comes to pairing eel with other dishes in Japanese cuisine.

By Mat Stuckey

Ex professional chef with a passion for cooking and unique flavours.

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