Unagi and Cucumber Dressed in Mixed Vinegar
A summer specialty of the Kansai region. It's called "uzaku."
Photographed by TAKAHIRO IMASHIMIZU
Excludes time need 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 kabayaki into easy-to-eat pieces. Line a frying pan with parchment paper. Lay the unagi on top and place over low heat to warm.
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. (The result resembles a serpent's belly, jabara, so this way of cutting is called jabara-giri. Cucumbers cut like this absorb the flavor of the dressing and have a pleasant texture.) Soak in a 3% salt solution for 5 minutes until slightly tender. Lightly squeeze out excess moisture and cut into 2-3 cm lengths.
Add the [Mixed vinegar] ingredients to a saucepan and place over heat. Turn off the heat just before it starts to boil. (Heating mixed vinegar up to pre-boiling point helps to tone down the acidity.) Empty into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Arrange the unagi and cucumbers in a dish. Drizzle with [Mixed vinegar] and garnish with ginger.