Grilled unagi (with tare sauce) served over rice, made from wild Japanese-caught eels.
The life cycle of Japanese eel
Our una-jyu is made exclusively from wild Japanese eels. Just how precious is it? The world's total eel production is about 300 thousand tonnes per year, and out of this, only 0.01% are wild-caught eel from Japan. Not only is this rare in Canada, it is also considered extremely precious in Japan—only the best restaurants specializing in eel kabayaki and other high-quality eel dishes will serve wild Japanese eel.
What makes these wild eel so delicious? The answer is rooted in their life cycle. Eels spawn near the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean (6000m deep), and as they get older, they swim back to the river where they were born. Unlike farmed eels which feed on man-made mixtures, wild eels survive amidst the precarious uncertainty of nature. The well-balanced meat and umami-rich flavours that have been nurtured by their journey through such high water pressure and long distances is the foundation of why wild eels are so delicious. Gratitude to the bounties of nature form the essence of the Japanese spirit of "Itadakimasu."