Fresh-water Eel (unagi) Nutrition And Calorie Count

Unagi on rice dish

Eel is very popular in Asian cuisine and is usually prepare on the grill.  It is one of the fattiest foods you will find in the sea.  Unagi is a freshwater eel and is supposedly high in saturated cholesterol and fat. 

As compared to Anago, a saltwater eel, is less oily and rich, is a healthier choice.  Many people prefer eating Unagi because of its richer taste. 


An issue in Japan is that the government is concern with the decline of freshwater eel over the last 3 generations and has been placed on its endangered list of species. 

So what are the health benefits of Unagi?

Even though Unagi is fat and rich it does have many nutrients.  It does contain calcium along with vitamin A-B1-B2-D-E.  It also contains high-quality minerals and proteins.

3 ounces of Eel provide daily requirements of:

46% of Vitamin B12

60% Vitamin A

17% Vitamin E

15% Niacin

Unagi Don - Kura AUD12.90 regular by avlxyz, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by avlxyz

High Abundance of Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Unagi has the highest amount of unsaturated fatty acids than any other sea creature.  Primarily containing EPA and DHA fatty acids, these are known to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  There has been some research on its benefits on the brain development and reducing the risk of vascular diseases and arthritis.

Other strong cases have shown the benefits for the eyes as well as the skin, helping to fight against Eczema.

What is the calorie count of Unagi?

For a serving of 100 g would amount to 255 to 330 cal (20-23g of Fat, 3-5g of Carbs, 15-22g of Protein).

For one single piece of unagi would amount to 100-150 cal.  If you are having Unagi as nigri, it would come in two pieces, so you would have to double the amount along with the addition of the rice.  For more information on calorie counts of other Nigiri or other types of sushi, visit our database.

Unagi Nigiri Sushi Image source: WikiCommon

Also understand Unagi is layered with a sweet Eel sauce, and depending on the amount added by the chef, the calories count will vary.