Anago Sweet Sauce –Differences between Anago Sauce and Eel Sauce

February 11th 2020

As we have received a lot of questions about Anago sauce, I created this page for reference. We will explain how to make the sauce along with the contents of the class at Tokyo Sushi Academy.

What is Anago sauce (“tsume”)?

Simmered anago sauce is also called tsume or nitsume. You make it by simmering Anago in broth and add other ingredients like soy sauce and sugar. Some restaurants make sauce from scratch every time or buy ready-made products, while other long-established restaurants preserve the sauce made with their secret traditional recipe and keep topping it up.

Anago Sweet Sauce

Difference between eel sauce and anago sauce

Eel sauce (also called Kabayaki sauce) is similar to Anago sauce in terms of flavor as well as ingredients, but the process of making them is different. Grilled eel is usually dipped into Eel sauce and the fish’s oil and essence melt into the sauce. The chef keeps topping up the Eel sauce and it takes years to make the dipping sauce.

On the other hand, Anago sauce is made by simmering the mixture of soy sauce, sake, sugar, and Anago broth made from the bone and other parts, till the sauce gets thick.

Anago Sauce Recipe

The following is the recipe for Anago sauce (20 serving).

Water: 2000cc
Dark-colored soy sauce: 200cc
Sake: 400cc
Sugar: 150g
Mirin: 200cc

Many Edomae sushi restaurants keep topping up the sauce, but the class makes it from scratch and uses a recipe slightly different from the restaurant. After bringing the sauce to boil, you slowly add Anago with its skin side facing up. Simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat and then 10 minutes over low heat, while removing the scum. You can also make broth out of Anago’s bone and head.

The recipe of simmered anago sauce

Mix the liquid ingredients and let them simmer while removing the scum, till the mixture boils down to 200cc, reducing by about 80%. Add soy sauce (200g) and raw sugar. Many restaurants use raw sugar, since it tends to make less scum than white sugar. Mizuame (millet jelly) is also used by some restaurants instead of raw sugar. After you add sugar, let the sauce simmer over low heat and be careful not to burn it, till about the 5% of the liquid evaporates.

Once the sauce is caramelized, it is done. Usually, the sauce is stored in the fridge and brought to room temperature when it is used.

Tips for Making Anago Sauce

This page explains how to make Anago sauce from the broth. If you top up ready-made sauce, you need to adjust the amounts of soy sauce and raw sugar. It is said that the sauce will not go bad for decades if stored in the fridge. Anago sauce is truly a representative of Edomae sushi restaurants and the technique is expected for all the traditional sushi chefs.

If you want to know more about recipes for Anago or take a look at the class, please visit the URL below.
Anago Recipe: Sushi, Tempura and more! Learn edomae technique at Tokyo Sushi Academy!

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