What I Ate: Unagi Shirakawa - Hitsumabushi

June 5, 2018 2 Chome-7-13 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0008, Japan

Nagoya is famous for hitsumabushi which is grilled eel eaten with rice 3 ways. It took several trips before I finally tried this dish in Nagoya. My friend Keiko recommended going to Shirakawa in Sakae to eat this famous dish. 

A and I went there at 5pm so we can beat the dinner rush. It was located in the basement of a building. When we arrived, there was already a line as the restaurant was still closed. We put our names down on the list and sat down and waited. 

A few minutes later, each one of us were called and we entered the restaurant.

We were given the English menu. We picked our meal and waited for our food to arrive.
Once, the food arrived, we had to follow the strict instructions on how to eat the hitsumabushi.

The first step was to divide the 3 portions (but I did 4 - rebel!). And no I didn't mix it on the bowl. I mixed after I divided each portions and scooped it on a separate bowl. That's when I mixed it. I don't follow instructions well. 

The first portion must be eaten as is so you can taste the rice and eel together without additional condiments.

Let me tell you that it was already delicious.
After eating the first serving, we can move on to second step. Place the second divided portion into the empty bowl. Then add the wasabi (you control the heat), green onions, and nori dried laver into the bowl with the eel and rice. Mix it together and eat. I enjoyed the change in taste with this bowl. I really like wasabi so that's a plus!
I added a lot of wasabi and I loved it. 

The third step is to again put the 3rd portion into your bowl. Repeat the second step and add the hot broth into your bowl. Mix it together with the broth and eat. The dish turns into a soup.
I also got tamago (Japanese omellete) with my meal.
And also eel liver soup. Did not like this so gave it to A. 

It was enjoyable to each hitsumabushi because you can try it in 3 different ways. That's always exciting for me. My favourite combination was the second step with the wasabi. I enjoyed my last portion eating it the same way with wasabi and green onions.
The portion was big because I ordered the meal. It was hard for me to finish the extra dishes which I happily shared with A. 

This was the priciest set meal I ever had in Japan but I must say that it's worth every yen. We paid about ¥30,000 for my set ($37 CDN). 

Have you tried hitsumabushi before?


  1. I will need to check your blog for the food when I go back to Japan.

  2. I'm so jealous! I have been to Nagoya several times but never ate eel T__T

  3. Alex really wanted to try this but he's not into the bones in eel and was told that this dish isn't de-boned like unagi.

    I miss Japan and their food, so much!

    1. It was served to us with no bones. Had no problems at all.

      I miss Japan too. And sorry for the late reply. I didn't get my notifications for comments :(


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