“Uzaku” Vinegared Unagi and Cucumbers
“Uzaku” is a summer specialty of the Kansai region that consists of unagi (freshwater eel) and cucumbers with a vinegar-based dressing. Healthy and delicious!
Photographed by TAKAHIRO IMASHIMIZU
Calorie count is per serving.
Excludes time needed to cool the mixed vinegar.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 skewer unagi kabayaki (store-bought) (160 g)
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 piece ginger (grated) (10 g)
- 100 ml dashi
- 50 ml rice vinegar
- 50 ml soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- Salt, as needed
Cut the unagi into easy-to-eat pieces. Line a frying pan with parchment paper and lay the unagi on top. Place over low heat to warm up the unagi.
Rub a generous amount of salt into the cucumbers. Rinse and make thin incisions along the entire length. Turn over and make thin incisions at a right angle to the other side. Soak in a 3% salt solution for 5 minutes until slightly tender. Lightly squeeze out excess moisture and cut into 2-3 cm lengths.
This way of cutting is called "jabara-giri," as the result resembles a "jabara," the belly of a serpent. Cucumbers cut this way absorb more flavor and have a pleasant texture.
Add the [Mixed vinegar] ingredients to a saucepan and place over heat. Turn off the heat just before it starts to boil. Empty into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Heating the vinegar just up to the pre-boiling point helps to tone down the acidity.
Arrange the unagi and cucumbers in a dish. Drizzle with [Mixed vinegar] and garnish with ginger.