Weird food in Japan? vol.1: Unagi

By Yoshi, June 16, 2011

”Unagi” (うなぎ, 鰻) means freshwater eels in Japanese.  
Unagi is a common ingredient, served as part of “Unadon” (うなどん, 鰻丼), a donburi dish (Rice ball dish) with sliced eel grilled with soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), sugar and sake.

Unagi is often eaten during the hot summers in Japan. There is even a special day for eating Unagi, the midsummer day of the Ox (doyo no ushi no hi, どようのうしのひ, 土用の丑の日). In Edo Period, people didn’t eat Unagi in summer, sellers started saying “Eating Unagi in summer is good for our health” and people started eating it in summer. It was a kind of advertising slogan, but still now we eat them in summer because it is high in protein, vitamin A, and calcium and it’s said eating Unagi helps to beat the summer heat and prevention of lack of appetite in summer.

Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu city, Shizuoka prefecture is famous for the highest quality Unagi. And a sweet biscuit, ”Unagi pie” (うなぎパイ) made in Hamamatsu is very famous as well.

It is made with powdered Unagi :) Can you see “Unagi” (うなぎ) written in the ingredient list?
I cannot taste Unagi , but nice biscuit ;)

And its sales copy is funny, “a snack for nights”….

It’s said the company hope we enjoy this biscuit with family at day’s end, and named this sales copy ;) Interesting?
Ok, move back again to the subject of “Unagi”,
we can eat Unagi at restaurants and home. we rarely buy raw ones (I cannot cook it), buy cooked ones.


Unagi stomachs’ Yakitori are sold as well.
Weird? So yum and good for health! try Unagi and beat the summer heat!