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Featured Maine Maker: American Unagi

About American Unagi

Maine is home to an incredible fish – the American eel. Enjoyed in cuisines around the world, the journey of the American eel starts right here on the East Coast in the rivers and coastal working waterfront of Maine. Glass eels are a Maine resource that is sought after all over the world. The entirety of this fishery’s harvest is bought and exported overseas to be raised, only to have 11 million pounds imported back into restaurants and grocery stores as an untraceably produced product. American Unagi is changing that. Sara Rademaker is a trailblazer in the field of aquaculture and is the founder of American Unagi, the first and largest eel farm in the United States. She and her team proudly work with this unique Maine fishery, raising sustainably locally sourced eels or unagi, in the stunning MidCoast region of Maine.

Maine’s pristine waters have made it one of the most sought-after sources for seafood in the world. American Unagi honors this heritage by raising its locally sourced glass eels at their farm, minutes from the working waterfront. Using their advanced aquaculture practices that nurture these fishes’ natural, healthy growth, they create fish with unparalleled freshness and purity.

American Unagi’s innovative approach to eel aquaculture is transforming the industry, supporting Maine’s local harvesters and the economy, while producing some of the highest quality eel products available anywhere in the world.

What They Produce

American Unagi offers smoked eel filets, clean raw filets as well as a tinned smoked eel collaboration from Gulf of Maine Conservas.

Where to Find Their Products

Enjoy a Maine chef’s preparation of American Unagi at Regards Restaurant, and Bar Futo in Portland, Nina June in Rockport, and Flux Restaurant in Lisbon Falls. You can also purchase it to enjoy at home from Jess’s Seafood in Rockland, Delano’s Seafood in Waldoboro and Sopo Seafood in Portland.

You can always buy directly from their online store:

Recipes for American Unagi

Smoked Eel Carbonara

  • Serves 4
  • Ingredients
    • 1lb smoked eel fillets
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for grating on top
    • 16 oz spaghetti
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Directions
    • Boil pasta in salted water until al Dente. Drain pasta and reserve 3/4 cup pasta water. This will help bring the carbonara sauce together.
    • Remove and discard skin from eel fillet, and cut eel fillets into 1/2" pieces.
    • Sauté eel in a wide, deep sauce pan over medium heat until browned.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and black pepper.
    • Add pasta to eel and stir. Add 3/4 cup pasta water and stir continuously until it begins to thicken.
    • Remove from heat and let cool for a couple minutes.
    • Slowly add egg mixture to pasta and stir for 30 seconds.
    • Top with extra parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste!

Smoked Eel Caesar Salad

  • Ingredients
    • 1lb smoked eel fillets
    • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Your favorite croutons (or make your own!)
  • Directions:
    • First, make the dressing! Whisk egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a medium bowl.
    • Very slowly, drop by drop to start and whisking constantly, drizzle a few drops of oil into yolk mixture.
    • Continue, going very slowly, until mixture looks slightly thickened and glossy. Continue adding oil in a slow, steady stream until all oil has been used and mixture looks like mayonnaise. Adding the oil slowly and whisking constantly ensures your dressing emulsifies. Add a dash of water and whisk until the consistency loosens up a bit. Add more water as needed. Add Parmesan and whisk until smooth. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
    • Clean, separate, and chop romaine hearts to your preferred size.
    • Add romaine into a large bowl with croutons and dressing and mix well to ensure everything is fully coated with the dressing
    • Remove and discard skin from smoked eel fillets, and cut into preferred size - serve on top of dressed salad.

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