The 5 Greatest Unagi Sauce Substitutes

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There are two camps when it comes to eel sauce: those who adore it and others who believe it’s too fishy.

Regardless of your stance, there is no doubting that unagi sauce is a delectable and versatile condiment that can be utilized in a variety of cuisines.

Unagi sauce is a sweet and savory sauce created from eel that is often used in Japanese cuisine.

And, although that may seem unusual to some, believe us when we say it’s delicious.

So, what kinds of foods can you prepare using unagi sauce? It’s often used as a dipping sauce for tempura or sushi.

But, it may also be used to marinate grilled meats or vegetables.

You’ll be hooked on unagi sauce once you taste it.

We appreciate, however, that not everyone enjoys eel sauce.

Thus, if you’re seeking for an alternative, keep reading for our five greatest unagi sauce substitutions.

What exactly is Unagi Sauce?

First and foremost, what exactly is unagi sauce? It’s a black, sweet soy sauce that’s popular in Japanese cooking.

The term unagi literally translates to “eel” in Japanese, however there is no eel in the sauce.

Unagi sauce is produced using a variety of ingredients such as soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and sometimes fruits and vegetables.

Unagi sauce is often a thick, dark brown hue with a sweet and savory taste, however the specific recipe varies depending on who makes it.

It is most typically used as a dipping sauce for grilled eel (thus the name), but it may be used in a variety of other foods as well.

Unagi sauce has a comparable consistency to other thick sauces like teriyaki or BBQ sauce.

Its smooth, somewhat sticky texture makes it ideal for coating grilled meats or vegetables.

Unagi sauce may be a dipping sauce or a glaze, depending on how it is used.

If you want to sample unagi sauce, there are a few different methods to prepare it.

The most typical use is as a marinade for grilled meats or vegetables.

Let the sauce to settle for a few minutes before grilling whatever you’re grilling.

Unagi sauce is also often used in stir-fries and noodle meals.

To enhance flavor to your food, just add a few spoonfuls while it’s cooking.

It’s also good as a dipping sauce for tempura or sushi.

The 5 Greatest Unagi Sauce Substitutes

If you can’t locate unagi sauce or are seeking for something else, there are a few decent options to pick from.

1. Teriyaki Dressing

Teriyaki sauce is first on our list.

This famous Japanese sauce is composed of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.

Although unagi and teriyaki sauces are similar, teriyaki is somewhat sweeter and lacks the smokiness of unagi.

In terms of consistency, teriyaki sauce is thinner and more watery than unagi sauce.

It’s also less sticky, making it great for marinades and glazes.

Teriyaki sauce pairs well with chicken, fish, and vegetables.

It’s also a common component in Japanese cookery, so you’ll see it in sushi rolls or as a tempura dipping sauce.

2. Barbecue Sauce

Take a glance at the BBQ sauce aisle the next time you’re at the grocery store.

There are a number of tastes available, all of which may be used as a replacement for unagi sauce.

When selecting a BBQ sauce to use as a replacement, think about the taste character you want.

Go for a honey-based BBQ sauce if you want something sweet and delicious.

Use a sauce with chipotle peppers for a smokey flavor.

If you’re feeling very daring, you can always manufacture your own BBQ sauce.

Try with various ingredients until you discover a taste combination you like.

Who knows, you could discover a new favorite dish.

3. Hoisin Dressing

Hoisin sauce has been a famous component in various cuisines since its inception.

It is often used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or as a component in other sauces.

Soybeans, sweet potatoes, wheat flour, sugar, salt, and other spices are all used to make hoisin sauce.

The sauce is usually dark brown or crimson in color, with a thick, sticky viscosity.

It’s also fairly sweet, thanks to the addition of nutritious soybeans and spices.

Hoisin sauce is available in most Asian stores and supermarkets.

Hoisin sauce may be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen.

It’s a popular dipping sauce for dumplings and spring rolls.

It may also be used to marinate meats like chicken or pig.

Hoisin sauce may also be used to enhance the taste of other sauces.

four. soy sauce

Soy sauce, one of the world’s most popular condiments, is a pantry essential for many people.

So just what is soy sauce?

Soy sauce is a fermented liquid consisting of soybeans, wheat, salt, and water.

It has a salty, umami taste that may be used to complement other cuisines.

Several Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, employ soy sauce.

If you run out of unagi sauce, soy sauce is a suitable replacement.

It has the same salty, umami taste.

Soy sauce is also thinner than unagi sauce, making it less suitable for dipping sushi.

Nonetheless, it may be used in recipes requiring unagi sauce, like as stir-fries or marinades.

Worcestershire Sauce 5

Worcestershire sauce is the last alternative on our list.

This sauce is produced using a variety of components such as vinegar, tamarind, molasses, sugar, and spices.

It has a rich taste that is sweet, sour, and has a tinge of umami.

In several meals, Worcestershire sauce may be used in place of unagi sauce.

It has comparable taste characteristics and may add depth and richness to a meal.

But, keep in mind that Worcestershire sauce is significantly saltier than unagi sauce.

As a result, you may need to modify the quantity of salt in your recipe.

Worcestershire sauce may also be used in place of soy sauce, depending on the other components in the cuisine.

It has a similar umami taste like soy sauce and may help smooth out the flavors in a meal.

But, keep in mind that Worcestershire sauce is more sweeter than soy sauce.


Unagi sauce is a soy sauce-based condiment with umami that is often used in Japanese cuisine.

Yet, it may be difficult to locate and costly.

Thankfully, a few replacements are available.

Unagi sauce may be substituted with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.

Each has a distinct taste character and may be utilized in a variety of cuisines.

While looking for an alternative for unagi sauce, keep the other tastes in your meal in mind.

If you want a sweeter taste, hoisin sauce or Worcestershire sauce are wonderful options.

If you like a saltier taste, soy sauce is a better option.


What can I replace unagi sauce with?

Since unagi sauce is basically a caramelized soy sauce, sauces with comparable components are a good place to start. Teriyaki sauce is widely available (and simple to create at home), but kecap manis is also a good replacement.

What’s a good substitute for eel sauce?

To produce eel sauce, first combine soy sauce and mirin, then add sake or dry sherry before boiling the ingredients together. Use soy sauce, teriyaki glaze, or hoisin as an eel sauce alternative that will give you a comparable flavor without any effort.

Is Unagi sauce the same as sweet soy sauce?

In Japanese, eel sauce is known as Unagi no Tare (), and it is a thick and sweetened soy sauce.

Is unagi sauce same as teriyaki sauce?

These two sauces may seem similar, but they taste nothing same. Teriyaki sauce adds spices like as ginger, but Unagi sauce has mirin, sake, and sugar in addition to soy sauce. Their taste characteristics are distinct.

Is Unagi sauce like soy sauce?

Eel sauce, also known as Unagi No Tare and Nitsume, is a sweet, sticky, and umami sauce. It’s essentially like a heavier soy sauce.

Is oyster sauce the same as unagi?

No, oyster sauce cannot be substituted for eel sauce. They have distinct taste characteristics while being both savory and sweet sauces. Eel sauce is normally prepared with eel extract, sake, mirin, and soy sauce, while oyster sauce is often produced with oyster extract, soy sauce, and additional ingredients.

What can I use instead of eel sauce for sushi?

Substitutions. Teriyaki sauce – If you like a little sweeter sauce with a more molasses-like taste, replace homemade eel sauce with teriyaki sauce. Yuzu Ponzu sauce is a smokey and citrusy sauce that may be used as a marinade or dipping sauce. It’s also thinner and spicier than unaig sauce.

Is eel sauce just teriyaki sauce?

What Is the Difference Between Eel and Teriyaki Sauce? In its most basic form, eel sauce is comprised of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. It’s thick and sticky, almost like syrup. Mirin, a sweet Japanese rice wine, is not often used in teriyaki sauce.

What is the difference between ponzu and eel sauce?

Ponzu Sauce: a citrus-based sauce and popular soy sauce additive, ponzu is a popular dipping sauce for imparting a tart, sour taste to sashimi. Eel Sauce: A thick, sweet sauce poured on top of a variety of nigiri when cooked for serving.

Can you buy eel sauce in the grocery store?

Walmart is ranked second.

Kikkoman Unagi sauce is available at Walmart, and if you didn’t know, Unagi sauce and eel sauce are the same thing.

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