Unagi: Shirayaki vs Kabayaki

When it comes to the Japanese dish using the freshwater eel Unagi, as you may know, “Unagi no Kabayaki (うなぎの蒲焼)” is quintessential and one of the most delicious. But have you ever heard of “Unagi no Shirayaki (うなぎの白焼き)”?

Unagi no Shirayaki (うなぎの白焼き)

Anago no ShirayakiAnago no ShirayakiImage: Wikipedia

Unagi no Shirayaki is a dish made of Unagi eel that has been cooked using the cooking method called “Shirayaki (白焼き)”, which is something like being on the opposite side of “Kabayaki (蒲焼)“.

vs. Unagi no Kabayaki

Unagi no KabayakiUnagi no Kabayaki

Unagi no Kabayaki is a dish of Unagi eel that has been split down the back (or belly), gutted and boned, butterflied, cut into rectangle fillets, skewered, grilled over a direct flame without using oil, dipped in a thick sweet “Tare” sauce made from dark soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake, and further cooked over the fire.

In contrast, Unagi no Shirayaki is different from Unagi no Kabayaki in that it doesn’t use any seasoning or sauce during the cooking. The Japanese cooking method where food is cooked over a direct flame without using oil and isn’t seasoned or flavored with anything, Shirayaki is also called “Suyaki (素焼き)”.


Since Shirayaki doesn’t use any seasoning or flavoring, the most important element in Unagi no Shirayaki is eel itself, say, whether it is wild or raised, the production area, the water and feed used for it. Unagi no Shirayaki may be eaten with “Wasabi Shoyu (ワサビ醤油: grated Japanese horseradish and soy sauce)”.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 白焼き, 蒲焼 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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