Food Spotlight: Anago and Unagi

Single piece of anago, or saltwater eel, nigiri

For thousands of years, eel has been an important part of Japanese cuisine. There are two main types of eel: saltwater, or anago, and freshwater, or unagi. While they are both eels, unagi and anago have very different tastes and textures.

Unagi is the richer and more flavorful of the two and is full of umami; we serve it at SUGARFISH and are working on a hand roll for KazuNori.  When our team travels to Japan, one of Nozawa’s absolute favorite things to do is visit an “unagibar,” a restaurant that primarily serves unagi over rice with eel sauce.

At Nozawa Bar, we serve anago. Anago is the more tender of the two eels and is found in the northwest Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Japan.

The preparation for both types of eel is similar: both anago and unagi are grilled to render their fat and then dressed with “eel sauce,” a sweet, soy-based sauce. Both make great nigiri sushi and are loved by our guests!

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