Freshwater Unagi Don Eel Recipes For Authentic American, Japanese, And Italian Style Fish

Are you stumped on how to cook up some eel? Well, here are some eel recipes that may "shock" your taste buds.

If you are a freshwater fishing eel enthusiast and catch your own eels, that's great! But, there are many people that don't fish for eel. Are you one of those people?

The good news is that eel are commercially fished for in some regions. So you may want to ask your local fish monger for fresh eel, preferably swimming alive in a tank.

Once you get your hands on some eel, have a go at any of these recipes for unagi don. Just in case you were wondering, unagi is a Japanese word for freshwater eel. Definitely not to be confused with saltwater eel.

  • Barbecued Eel
  • Poached Eel With Rice

Barbecued Eel

eel grilling on the barbecue


  • eel - 2 pounds, cleaned, skinned, cut into 4 serving size pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper


Coat the eel with olive oil, rub with thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place the eel on a medium hot charcoal or gas bbq grill. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until slightly charred with grill marks. Remove and wrap the eel in aluminum foil and finish cooking for 10 more minutes. Serve with tarter sauce, or a butter and herb sauce, a barbecue sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Italian Style Poached Eel With Rice


  • eel - 2 pounds, cleaned, skinned, cut into 4 serving size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup rice, slightly undercooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper


In a large sauce pan over low heat, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes and thyme. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the eel, wine and parsley. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Then add the rice, water and tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and continue to cook over low heat for 20 more minutes.

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