Easy Eel Sauce Recipe (3 Ingredients)
How to Make Eel Sauce – This amazingly easy and versatile recipe makes the most sweet, savory, and delicious eel sauce in only 20 minutes with 3 simple ingredients. (And no, it’s not made with actual eels!)
Why This is the Best Eel Sauce Recipe
Japanese eel sauce is one of those condiments you’ve most likely had, even if you don’t realize it. It is often served with sushi and hibachi at Asian restaurants, so you have probably tasted eel sauce at least once if you’ve ever enjoyed these dishes.
However, this robust savory-sweet sauce is not easily found in most grocery stores in the United States. I’m not sure why…
Other than sushi rolls, it’s delicious served over all kinds of dishes like grilled steak, chicken, and fish, drizzled over pizzas, burgers, and hoagies, and also drizzled over any sort of dish that you want a pop of the unexpected, like nachos, or hard aged cheese on a charcuterie board. You can even stir it into noodles or add it to proteins or veggies before roasting.
Best of all, this sauce is extremely easy to make at home with 3 simple ingredients! You only need Mirin, soy sauce, and sugar to simmer up a batch of eel sauce in less than 30 minutes. It’s much less expensive than buying it at the grocery store and you can make as much as you like.
You can use the sauce right away for dinner, or store it in the fridge to keep on hand whenever you need a dash of something salty, sweet, and savory to compliment your favorite foods!
3 Ingredients You Need
- Mirin – eel sauce recipes require Mirin or Sake to create the taste, but these Asian rice wines can be swapped interchangeably
- Soy sauce – use low sodium if you like, or tamari
- Granulated sugar – white sugar or coconut sugar are best
How to Make Eel Sauce
If you’ve always loved the phrase “simmer down” this is the recipe for you… The key thing to remember when making eel sauce is that you want it to simmer and reduce over time, not boil hard and burn on the bottom. If it tastes overly caramelized (AKA burnt) your temperature is too high.
To make the sauce, first set a small saucepan over medium heat. Measure and pour in the Mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The eel sauce is done when it has reduced by about half, and the consistency is thick enough to set up a little bit on a sushi roll.
Get the Complete (Printable) Homemade Eel Sauce Recipe + Video Below. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: Remember, it will continue to thicken as it cools so remove it from the heat when it’s just a bit runnier than desired.
Cool completely, then serve immediately, or move the sauce to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
Use a squirt bottle to add lovely squiggles of eel sauce on top of sushi and spring rolls. Or simply serve in a ramekin on the side for dipping!
Drizzle on or enjoy the Japanese sauce on the side with your favorite Japanese and other Asian-inspired dishes like Okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage pancakes), Hibachi Fried Rice, or Onigiri (Japanese rice balls). I love to add a bit to other raw fish recipes… Try it with Hawaiian Ahi Poke Bowls and Tako Poke for a yummy pop of intense flavor.
You can also stir it into simple stir fry and noodle dishes to boost the sauce, or brush it over meat and vegetables as a marinade for roasting.
It’s also terrific to elevate elegant dishes such as Tuna Tartare or Salmon Tartare, and Wasabi Deviled Eggs with Tuna. Or get super adventurous and serve it on classic comfort foods like burgers or sliders, sandwiches, tacos, pizza, Ahi Loaded Nachos (poke nachos), and traditional cheese nachos – the possibilities are nearly endless!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, they are not the same. Although both soy-based sauces, teriyaki is not made with Mirin. Therefore doesn’t have quite the same acidity and flavor that pairs so well with sushi. Teriyaki sauce also typically includes other aromatics, like minced garlic and ginger.
No, there is no actual eel in the sauce ingredients. The name comes from the rich, umami flavor of the sauce and the fact that it pairs very well with eel sushi.
Yes, it is! There are no animal products included in this classic eel sauce recipe.
It will keep well for up to a month in the fridge. Let the sauce cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating.
Looking for More Classic Condiment Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Best Homemade Cocktail Sauce (Seafood Sauce)
- Creamy Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
- Gyoza Dipping Sauce (+ How to Fry Dumplings)
- Homemade Yum Yum Sauce
- Spicy Mustard Seafood Sauce
Easy Eel Sauce Recipe (3 Ingredients!)
- Set a small sauce pot over medium heat. Measure and pour in the Mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The eel sauce is done when it has reduced by about half, and is thick enough to set up a little bit on a sushi roll. Remember, it will continue to thicken as it cools so remove it from the heat when it's just a bit runnier than desired.
- Cool completely, then move the eel sauce to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.