Unagi don is one of Japan’s famous dishes.
Did you know that there are specific days to eat it?
Unagi don has BBQ eel (freshwater eel) on top of rice. The sauce is a special sauce that is mainly made from soy sauce and sugar. However, the recipes differ from restaurant to restaurant.
Unagi don was first made between 1804 to 1818.
At first Unagi don did not have the unagi on top. The unagi was between rice so the unagi would not get cold during delivery. Unagi don also usually has a packet of sansho pepper on the side. Sansho has a citrusy peppery flavor. In addition, it is believed that sansho is effective in digestion. The sparks of citrusy flavor contrasts with the sauce and feels refreshing.
However, there are many different ways to enjoy unagi such as kabayaki, shirayaki, unagi nigiri, umaki, and hitsumabushi.
What is unagi?
To Clarify, unagi (うなぎ) is the Japanese name for freshwater eel. The tradition of eating unagi in the summer started in the Edo period (1603-1868). There are various theories as to how or who started the tradition of eating unagi on this day. However, the most popular theory is that Gennai Hiraga spread this tradition to help out his friend, who was an unagi restaurant owner with his dwindling sales during the summer. At the time, it was also thought that eating food beginning withう (u) on Doyo no Ushi no Hi (Unagi Day) would bring relief from intense heat and humidity in the summer.
We know that unagi is full of protein, omega-3, vitamin E, calcium, vitamin A and phosphorus, among other nutrients.
In addition, it is said that unagi has the highest amount of unsaturated fatty acids than any other sea creature. Unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin A are believed to reduce wrinkles and keep the skin supple as well.
Wow I didn’t know unagi was so healthy and good for wrinkles!
Unagi day this year.
Unagi day is a unique summer tradition in Japan, people will eat unagi to keep their stamina up in the summer. There are several days of Unagi day, but currently in Japan only the date(s) during summer is celebrated. This year’s unagi day falls on 7/23 and 8/4/2022. Next year’s summer Unagi day is on 7/30/2023.
Come and eat unagi don on unagi day!!
Do you like unagi don??