Let's get right to the questions...
Most unagi sauces are indeed vegan.
The basics of homemade unagi sauce are mirin (Japanese rice wine), soy sauce and sugar. Store-bought unagi sauces may use slightly different ingredients, but they'll have a similar base.
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Here's what's in Suzukatsu Sushi Unagi Sauce (linked above):
Ingredients: Soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), sugar, glucose syrup (corn starch, water), caramel color, monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate.
All vegan ingredients here! Most unagi sauces you'll find on the market are similar to this one (and vegan).
You won't likely be eating non-vegan unagi sauce at home, but what about in restaurants?
"Unagi" is the Japanese word that translates to "freshwater eel."
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Unagi sauce, or eel sauce, is a condiment used in Japanese cooking to top grilled eel or unagi sushi. It's thick, sweet and salty.
What to Ask When Dining Out
That unagi sauce you want to try on a veggie (mainly sweet potato roll) the next time you go out for sushi is probably in the safe zone.
Read Also: Best French Fry Cutters for Sweet Potatoes
But you should use the same precautions with restaurant-prepared unagi sauce as you would with eel sauce.
The terms "unagi sauce" and "eel sauce" are often used interchangeably, and eel sauce *may* contain eel eggs or fish stock.
Thus, some unagi sauces may not be vegan, though you're most likely to encounter the plant-based ones - especially if you're dining in the States or a Western country.
To be sure, check with your server.
More Vegan Condiments
Want to learn more about vegan sauces?
Here are more vegan condiments you might enjoy.
And be sure to check out...
- The vegan status of soy sauce here.
- Is Teriyaki Sauce Vegan?
- Is Sweet Chili Sauce Vegan?
Hey, I’m Joey. I’ve been cooking since I was a little kid and love everything about it. You can find my writing about food, kitchen appliances (such as blenders) and much more. Thanks for stopping by!
Want to take all of the guess-work around going vegan?
Click here to check out the Vegan Starter Kit.