Unagi is eel. Lovely glistening red and gold fried eel – the taste of summer in Japan. Look at the picture – doesn’t it look delicious? That’s unagi no kabayaki – eel filleted, glazed with a sweet teriyaki sauce and grilled.
People eat unagi in the summer in Japan because it’s light and healthy and you can eat it when you don’t have much appetite. It contains vitamins A, B1 (which is easily lost in sweat and so needs replenishing in hot weather), B2, D and E. It will lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and improve your eyesight too.
If you feel like following their example, today is the day to do it because it’s Doyo no Ushi no Hi (土用の丑の日) or Dog Days of Summer Day when everyone traditionally eats unagi. I know it’s not that hot here but in Japan it’s 35 degrees and over six hundred people have been taken to hospital suffering from the effects of heat. Definitely time for unagi.
You can get unagi no kabayaki in London at Toku which is listed on the restaurant page.