Hello from Yuka. Tonight, (Sunday, November 8th), we had UNAGI DONBURI for supper. Since Mugi, our second daughter got married and moved, only two of us (Ichiro and me) are at home, together with Love. I am not used to this life style yet, I still tend to make more - too much food for two, but I will be used to this life!
Unagi is eel---we thought eating unagi is a very unique tradition and only in Japan but we found that unagi is eaten in different countries too with unique recipe.
Unagi is favorite food for many people here in Japan, I think. There are many restaurants where they serve only unagi cooking. Eating unagi is a tradition from very long time ago-there are records of people eating unagi from the beginning of Muromachi period
It is not so difficult to find establised unagi restaurants which last more than 100 years!
This restaurant has menu in English-
The menu of our supper tonight was :
Unagi donburi---Grilled eel on rice
Hakusai Ohitashi--Boiled Chinese Cabbage
Tofu osumashi--clear soup with tofu and enokidake mushroom
I had to go catch eels to a lake for this supper---NO, that is not true.
Actually grilled eel is available at supermarket, and tare(sauce) also comes with grilled unagi, usually, so all I need to do is to heat grilled unagi in the microwave oven and put them on rice! The tare sauce is based with shoyu(soy sauce) and it tastes like yakitori sauce.
Unagi with the tare-is so appetite-it is so savory smell, the grilled unagi with tare!
Unagi is actually a very mysterious creature-their ecology has a lot of unknown part. They are born in the middle of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and after a long journey (they travel thousands of kilometers) they reach different part of the world, it takes a couple of years before they come to us. After spending some years at lakes, rivers and ponds, they take that long journey again when they become ready to leave offspring. Through their journey, their body become adjusting to deep-sea to more shallow area. It used to be, unagi was eaten as nourising food, and for ordinary people.
Today if you eat unagi donburi at a good unagi restaurant, the price will be around US $20 to $30! The price of unagi is getting higher and higher because of less young eels and there is a concern for future catch of unagi.
Yesterday, I bought the unagi at a `depa-chika' the basement floor of department where daily food and delicatessen are sold. I remember Ichiro's mother (my mother in law) bought unagi for us when we were very young. She knew unagi was a bit too expensive thing for us and she wanted us to eat nourising food too, I think.
We bought some for our friends as omiyage and also to Mugi, who got married last month. Tonight, we savored unagi, talked about Michiko san(Ichiro's mother). The house became quiet, with just two of us, but unagi supper reminded us of good memory. I felt happy to buy unagi for our daughter's family also, we hope they savor unagi supper and become genki (fine).
If you visit Japan, sushi, and tempura maybe very popular but please try Unagi donburi too. If you like TERIYAKI, we are sure you will love Unagi donburi!