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Healthy Unagi Don Recipe with Quinoa Mixed Rice

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 pcs Unagi Grilled, cut into 4 pcs
1 tsp Unagi Sauce Recipe below
1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds Toasted
Unagi Sauce
1/4 cup Light Soya Sauce
2.5 tbsp Sugar
1.5 tbsp Japanese Cooking Wine
1/2 cup Rice Vinegar
Mixed Rice
1/3 cup Quinoa
1/3 cup Short Grain Rice
1 cup Water
2 tbsp Sushi Rice Seasoning Optional. Recipe as below
2 tbsp Furikake Optional
Sushi Rice Seasoning
1/4 cup Mirin
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
Salad Mix
1 Avocado Cubed
1/2 Japanese Cucumber Cubed
4 Cherry Tomatoes Cut into 8 pcs each
1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds Toasted
1 tsp Fish Roe

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Healthy Unagi Don Recipe with Quinoa Mixed Rice

Delicious and nutritious Unagi Don served with Quinoa-rice mix great for bentos and home.

  • 30m
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Ingredients

  • Unagi Sauce

  • Mixed Rice

  • Sushi Rice Seasoning

  • Salad Mix

Directions

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Truth be told, I have been wanting to make sushi for a while. The last time I made a temaki and maki roll was more than a year ago. It is a handy breakfast for the office. But then I am lazy. And hubby also said eat at home, no need to do until so pretty. So, I decided to come up with a Unagi Don recipe. It is easy to prepare, easy to eat, healthy and still pleasant looking.

UNAGI

Unagi is a nutritious fish packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, D and E, all vital for good human health. It is also rich in good cholesterol thus lowering the bad in our body. It lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of arthritis in our body as well and these are just some of the benefits. In Japan, unagi is usually consumed in summer as it is known to have substances that is good for nourishing the body in summer.

Many people are aware of the poisonous puffer fish. But few are aware that Unagi can also be toxic. Unagi blood contains a neurotoxin and a small amount can kill. So it is never eaten raw and it requires special skills to prepare. Furthermore, it is extremely slippery thus, hard to slice without the right tools. So the next time you wonder why Unagi is so expensive, this is the reason… Other than the fact that it is also declining in numbers in the wild.

Thus, you will notice that you don’t really need to “cook” the unagi. Unagi is usually bought from supermarket ready grilled. Even in Japan. So all you have to do is remove the unagi from the packaging, brush some unagi sauce over it and put in in a broiler or grill to heat up.

I bought my unagi from NTUC Finest at $15.90 for a piece. So that is $7.95 per pax (2 pax eating) just for the fish alone. Definitely not something I will buy on a regular basis but a nice treat once in a while. It is still cheaper than eating out and you are probably paying for similar quality unless you go to premium restaurants. Plus you get to eat it with whatever you want.

For the sauce, you don’t have to buy anything special. Just the usual soya sauce, mirin and Japanese cooking wine and this time add in some sugar. Or if you have a teriyaki sauce, you can use that.

RICE

Japanese rice are short grained and high in sugars. Thus the sweet taste and starchy texture. So I have mixed it with quinoa which is rich in protein and low on sugars and carbohydrates. For more recipes on quinoa and how to cook quinoa, please refer to my post of quinoa. Quinoa is also soft and fluffy, making it a good replacement. You can use purely quinoa too but because quinoa is so expensive and it is still ok to have some Japanese rice, I have decided to use a mixture.

I decided to season the rice mix with sushi mix and furikake. Since we are not eating sashimi, you can actually not season the rice, or season it with just Furikake rice seasoning (those packs with seaweed, sesame seeds, dried bonito flakes, little bits of fish, shrimps, etc). I have decided to season with both because it is tasty, the acid in the rice helps to cut through the fattiness of the unagi and balance out the sweetness. Furikake is also nutritious and tasty. But most importantly because I have the ingredients on hand.

Unagi don recipe

I bought a couple of packets of furikake (from NTUC, but Daiso sells too) for my multi-day hikes to give extra nutrients in those conditions. Furikake was originally created to provide extra nutrients to soldiers during the war as it is packed with a variety of dried fish, vegetables and grains, easy to store and can last a long time, making it suitable for long hikes. We did not end up using it and one year later it is still sitting in my pantry… However, the thing to note is that do consume these sparingly as store bought ones usually contain quite a lot of sugars and even MSG. The sugars are great if you are burning a lot on the battle field or in the mountains, but if you are just going from home to office… well, just watch the sugar intake.

If you decide not to season the rice, you can stir in some sesame seeds and brush on some unagi sauce on the rice before laying the unagi on top to make it more flavourful yet healthy.

For sushi seasoning, you have a choice of store bought premixed powder packs or mixing your own with Japanese Rice Vinegar, sugar and salt. Honestly, both methods are good. If you have other uses of the rice vinegar, go get it. But if you don’t, it is perfectly fine to stick to the powder mix as it is essentially the same stuff in there. Take your pick.

You can prepare one lot of the sushi seasoning and store in the fridge with a label. Because it is vinegar, sugar and salt, it essentially does not spoil. But to clear space in my fridge, I will try to schedule using it within a month. While seasoning the rice, taste and add as needed.

VEGETABLES

One thing I love about the Japanese rice bowl is that it is a neat looking portion, is flavourful, easy to prepare and tastes good hot or room temperature and most importantly is nutritious. For vegetables, we have a little salad mix of carrot and cucumber cubes with cherry tomatoes and avocado and some seaweed by the side.

Other vegetables you can have include blanched kai lan, broccoli, cai xin, carrots, bean sprouts, edamae, fried enoki mushrooms, braised eggplant, shredded cabbage, pickled cucumber, pickled ginger, pickled onions, marinated tofu with chives, sea kelp, steamed pumpkin, etc… the possibilities are quite endless!

MISO SOUP

For the longest time, I thought miso soup is just MSG or just loads of salt. Well, I was wrong. At least in decent Japanese restaurants, it is actually made from miso paste. Miso is basically fermented beans and well like all foods fermented, it is really good for you! In fact, miso is one of the world’s healthiest foods as it is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.

So when I am crunched for time to come up with a soup, I will now sometimes use miso as a base and add in some ikan bilis or just doe it the Japanese way of adding some leek, kelp and tofu and this (with a glass of Japanese Green Tea) is just perfect to wash down the Unagi Don with.

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Steps

1
Done
20 minutes

Steam Rice

Wash rice, rinse off and add quinoa and water.
Steam or cook in rice cooker.

2
Done

Prepare Sushi rice seasoning

Mix all ingredients together and heat up in microwave or on a stove over gentle heat to melt sugar and salt.
Store in airtight container and label.

3
Done

Heat Unagi

Remove unagi from the tray.
Cut into 4 equal pieces and place on a foil on your grill tray.
Using a brush, brush on the sauce on the flesh side of the unagi lightly. You may use the sauce that comes with the unagi or you may make your own using the recipe provided.
Place in toaster or broiler for 5-10 minutes at 170C to heat up the unagi. If using Air Fryer, heat up at 150C for 5 minutes.
Once cooked, remove tray and place on table.

4
Done

Prepare unagi sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and heat in microwave or stove top to dissolve sugar.
Store in airtight container and label.

5
Done

Prepare vegetables

Cut up vegetables and toss them together while waiting for rice to steam.

6
Done

Season Rice

Once rice is cooked, add in sushi seasoning and furikake in and mix evenly. Taste.
Once happy with taste, split them into 2 bowls.

7
Done

Assemble

Place 2 pieces of unagi on top of the rice, on one half.
Scatter some sesame seeds over unagi.
Place the vegetables on top of the other half of the rice. Top with fish roe and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

BluRain

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