Friday, August 10, 2007

Different but Very Tasty!

Very "Unorthodox" Unagi Donburi

It was a Saturday morning cooking show that introduced this unique unagi donburi (broiled eel on a bowl of rice). Well, there IS such a thing as “una-tama don.” When you order a unagi donburi, usually what you see on top of rice is a few slices of broiled eel. But when it comes to una(eel)-tama(egg) don, the eel slices are briefly cooked in a small amount of sauce, and beaten eggs are added at the end to be cooked until half-done.

This donburi is a variation of “una-tama don” with more ingredients added. In the TV cooking show, it was introduced as a great idea to make donburi dishes enough for several people when you couldn’t buy enough unagi for everyone. Yes, onions, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach?) and tofu -- things that are not usually used for unagi donburi -- are used for the topping for this unique donburi dish.

Believe me. The crispy komatsuna was such a great accent in this dish. Another good idea was pre-mixing sansho pepper with cooked rice instead of sprinkling it on unagi like people usually do. It made the sansho flavor milder and longer-lasting (because it will remain with the rice even after the topping is gone).

They also introduced an interesting idea for making Japanese traditional pickles in a quicker and easier way. It is adding leftover beer and a little amount of sugar after rubbing vegetables with salt! They said it makes the pickles taste like real nukazuke, vegetables pickled in rice bran mixture. Well, it did not taste exactly like nukazuke, I would say. But they tasted pretty good after I added a tiny piece of konbu (kelp) and marinated them overnight.

I’m going to spend a couple of days with my parents, my younger sister and her kids at my parents’ house. See you guys when I come back on the 16th.



Anonymous said...

That unagi dish looks beautiful! Is unagi normally served just grilled on rice? Never embellished like this?

spajonas said...

mmm, do i see tofu, egg, and onions in there too? yum.

Anonymous said...

The pepper in with the rice is a great idea !
It always overpowers me when i sprinkle it on top,no matter how sparingly i use it .

Anonymous said...

Remember to post your daily happening in Kochi.Wonder how is your dad orchard now.Photos, photos lots of them.I love to c Kochi again. Love and regards from Malaysiaelayne

Finla said...

Hi you have a excelent blog
I just started one. Would you check it out

Violet said...

Yum. Looks good. I like the addition of the onions, greens, and tofu.

Anonymous said...

see U 2 after you get back.

obachan said...

Good question. And your question inspired me to add the passage about una-tama don to my post.
Hope that answers your question. ;)

Yep, you got all of them right.

I thought it was a great idea, too, because I was able to enjoy sansho flavor even when unagi is not in my mouth, i.e., when I’m tasting rice and tofu-vegetable-egg mixture.

Oh, thank you so much for your interest in Kochi and my family in a small town. But unfortunately I couldn’t take photos almost at all this time… So sorry.

Happy cook
Hi. Thanks for leaving the link. You have a wonderful blog, too. It’s so great to see what you cook in Belgium. : )

I think adding those ingredients make it more nutritious (AND cost-effective) ;P

Hey, I’m back now. (And still feeling lazy…)

Anonymous said...

Obachan - unorthodox or not, this looks so tasty and I'm drooling over again! I haven't had unagi for a long time, I'm hoping to go back to Japan soon so hopefully I'll have a chance then...

Anonymous said...

is the sauce for the unatama don the same as for say, oyako don, or something else? I would like to try and make your version of unatama don.

obachan said...

Oh, you're coming back to Japan? I hope you fill yourself up with your favorite Japanese dishes. ;)

Ahhh... I was wondering who would ask me this question first. When we buy grilled unagi at the store, we usually buy the sauce, too. And in the cooking show, they used the store-bought sauce as the base and added some water, dashi powder and seasoning to make it enough for 4 servings.

Yeah, I guess you can use oyako don sauce for this dish. Real una don sauce seems to be much thicker (no dashi stock is added, I guess) and it could be too strong for this particular donburi.