Is Eel Sauce Vegan? Don’t Make This Mistake

You may be asking:

Is Eel sauce vegan?

Is the stuff made with real eel or other fish?

We are here to answer…

This article will tell you everything about eel sauce, including its vegan status and the ingredients it is made from.

Is Eel Sauce Vegan Friendly?

Is Eel Sauce Vegated

The eel sauce is sweet, savory, and dark brown in flavor.

Any sushi lover will agree that it’s to die for.

It’s the irresistible sauce sushi chefs use to drizzle on their sushi rolls, making it taste divine.

Wait…the name eel sauce actually refers to a freshwater fish with a long, narrow body that resembles a snake.

Does that mean they use eel extracts?

Is Eel Sauce Vegan?

Is Eel Vegan

The answer is yes and no because the original eel sauce doesn’t contain fish extracts.

It only contains sake, mirin, and sugar.

Certain brands may add eel extracts (bones) or dashi to enhance the flavor.

It is called “eel sauce” because it has a thickened, sour cream-like consistency.

This thickened sauce was used to coat grilled eels.

What Is Eel Sauce Made From?

The following are the main ingredients in most eel sauce recipes that you will find:

  • Mirin
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic
  • Sugar
  • Sriracha

We said that eel is rarely used as a base.

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There are a few rare recipes that use fish ingredients.

It’s best to be safe when buying a bottled eel marinade to have on hand in your kitchen.

But it’s still best to double-check.

Does The Eel Actually Live In It?

What Is Eel Sauce Made From

Most eel sauces do not contain any eel, but few exceptions.

This sauce is used in eel dishes and other fish dishes.

Does It Have Fish?


This sauce is used as a flavorful sauce on fish.

Does It Have Shellfish?


Does It Have Dairy?

No. Eel sauce contains no dairy.

How Does Eel Sauce Taste?

How Does Eel Sauce Taste

You can enjoy a variety of flavors from eel sauce, but it is primarily sweet and salty.

The soy sauce provides the saltiness, while the mirin and sugar provide the sweetness.

This combination results in a unique flavor similar to barbecue sauce.

The sauce is thick, smooth, and vicious.

However, it can be thicker than other eel sauces or more gelatinous, depending on what ingredients are used.

While homemade eel sauce recipes can be thinner, store-bought sauces are thicker.

Make Purely Vegan Eel Sauce At Home

Make Purely Vegan Eel Sauce At Home

You can make vegan eel sauce with the benefits I just mentioned.

However, it is possible to ensure that the condiment contains no harmful additives.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sake
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

In a small saucepan, heat mirin and sake.

Add the sugar.

Mix the ingredients on medium heat.

Stir the mixture until it dissolves.

Add the soy sauce to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.

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Once the mixture has reached boiling point, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.

There will be more bubbles towards the end.

Turn off the heat.

Allow the mixture to cool completely.

The sauce will thicken and caramelize as it cools.

Place the contents in an airtight container.

The refrigerated, homemade sauce will keep for 2 weeks.

Last Words

How to Do Eel Sauce

Eel sauce can be made vegan.

It is made with vegan ingredients like mirin, soy sauce, and sweet Japanese rice wine.

Sugar is the most questionable ingredient, as it could have been processed with bone charcoal. However, this is difficult to determine since many companies use a mix of sugar suppliers.


  • Mary M. Cameron

    Mary M. Cameron is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science from the University of California, Davis and a Master's degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). With over 8 years of experience in the nutrition field, Mary is an expert in weight management, plant-based nutrition, and overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, she shares her knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including nutrition plans, healthy recipes, and overall health and wellness tips. Mary believes that nutrition is the foundation of overall health and wellness, and she strives to inspire her readers to prioritize a balanced and varied diet, while also incorporating physical activity and self-care into their daily routines. Through her articles, Mary aims to empower her readers to make informed decisions about their nutrition and lifestyle choices, and to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

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