Go Back
+ servings
A big spoonful of homemade unagi sauce.

The Easiest Unagi Sauce - Only 4 Ingredients!

A golden brown caramelised soy sauce ready to bring huge flavour to your favourite dishes. Try this homemade unagi sauce (also known as eel sauce) made with tamari, sake, sugar and mirin - no eel required!
Course Basics, Condiment
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 1 Small Jar
Calories 237kcal
Cost $5




  • Place sake, mirin and sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
    3 tbsp mirin, 3 tbsp sake, 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • Add tamari, then continue to simmer over a medium high heat for around 5-10 minutes or until the sauce reduces by at least half. If you want an extra thick sauce, you can reduce this further, down to a third or more.
    3 tbsp tamari
  • Use unagi sauce for more than just basting eel. This is a nice alternative sauce for yakitori, teriyaki or tsukune chicken. You can even slather it over your onigiri!


  • Double the Recipe - If you know you’ll use it up, make a double batch and store it in a squeezy bottle for extra convenience. 
  • Don’t Over-Cook - Cooking the sauce for too long or over too high heat can burn the sauce around the edges of the pan and result in a bitter flavour. 
  • Extra Thick - If the sauce isn’t quite as thick as you’d like, stir in a simple cornstarch slurry (1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water) to thicken it up even more.
  • Storage - This sauce is best used within 1-2 months. Store in an airtight glass bottle or jar in the fridge.
  • Adjust Sweetness - You can double or halve the sugar according to your own tastes. If you double it, just note the sauce will reduce quicker so adjust your cooking time and keep an eye on it as you reduce it. 
  • Add Nuttiness - Try it with a splash of sesame oil or a sprinkling of ground toasted sesame seeds
  • Make it Spicy - Stir in a sprinkling of sansho (Japanese pepper), regular black pepper, shichimi togarashi or cayenne pepper.
  • Even More Umami - Add half a cup of dashi stock and cook the sauce down for longer to bring even more savoury flavour to the sauce.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3408mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg