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Review: Would You Ever Eat A Japanese Cookie Made With Eel?

by Shigeki Abe September 03, 2015 6 Comments

unagi pie japanese cookie

Japan has lots of crazy snacks, from DIY Japanese candy that changes color to more traditional snacks like dried squid. But would you ever try a Japanese snack made with eel?! That can’t possibly be good right?

Between Tokyo and Kyoto, is the overlooked region of Hamamatsu. Although not as big or as famous as other areas of Japan, Hamamatsu is home to many iconic Japanese companies like Honda and Yamaha. Hamamatsu is also famous for its eels. The eels caught in the local Hamana Lake are considered to be the best in the world.


eel dishes Japan

Eel is a delicacy in Japan and can be eaten in many different ways. You can grill it, smoke it, dry it, fry it, make it into a sushi…the possibilities are endless. But who would have thought to put eel in a sweet Japanese snack?

Shunkado, was founded in 1887 and was known for making some of the best traditional wagashi snacks in Japan. But it was in 1961, when they started to make cookies infused with eel, that the snack maker really took off. Today these unagi cookies have become known as ‘Unagi Pies’ and are still made by hand in the same way they have been for over half a century.

unagi pie japanese snacks   japanese unagi pie cookies

The packaging is pretty standard by Japanese snack terms. Each unagi pie is individually packaged and laid out nicely in the box. There was also a pamphlet with a cute comic showing how the unagi pies are made. On the box, it says “A snack for nights” but I have no clue why it says that. It’s definitely good to nibble on as a late night snack, but why they made that their slogan, I don’t know.


japanese unagi pie snack   unagi eel pie



So you must be wondering, is it any good?

YES! It’s super delicious. It doesn’t smell or taste like eel at all. It does look a little bit like an eel because it’s rolled out into a long cookie. The Unagi Pie smells heavenly from the moment you open the package. Imagine the smell of a bakery, cooking cakes in their ovens. That’s what the Unagi Pie smells like. The cookie itself is delicate and perfectly crispy. The folds in the cookies along with the granulated sugar, gives it a slightly rough texture. They also have the perfect amount of sweetness. Seriously, this cookie is really good!

unagi pie

TLDR:Everyone will love this cookie. It doesn’t smell or taste like eel at all. It’s no wonder that the Unagi Pie is one of the most popular snacks in Japan. 

If you ever get a chance to visit Hamamatsu, be sure to visit their factory. There you can see how the cookies are made. After the factory tour, you can relax in the café and enjoy freshly made Unagi Pie dishes.

unagi pie factory   unagi pie factory
unagi pie   delicious japanese snacks unagi pie
If you enjoy this post, check out some other amazing Japanese snacks that you've probably never heard of:
Shigeki Abe
Shigeki Abe

Founder of Snakku; Born in Tokyo and raised in New York, Shigeki has always traveled and explored the world through food.

6 Responses

Carlos Ross
Carlos Ross

April 08, 2017

We got these as omiyage from a friend in Hamamatsu, and these are absolutely wonderful. Somewhere reminiscent of Danish butter cookies or biscotti, but just a hint of smokiness in the aftertaste to remind me there really is unagi involved.

Carlos Ross
Carlos Ross

April 08, 2017

We got these as omiyage from a friend in Hamamatsu, and these are absolutely wonderful. Somewhere reminiscent of Danish butter cookies or biscotti, but just a hint of smokiness in the aftertaste to remind me there really is unagi involved.

Hasina Bee
Hasina Bee

February 22, 2017

hahaha…it’s called Unagi (eel) Pie because the shape looks like eel. It does not contain anything remotely to do with eel at all. you can actually speak to the factory or check out the product ingredients on their official website. there’s no eel infused in it. and yes it’s super delicious.


December 10, 2016

Thanks for your post! I was going to get these as a souvenir, but since I’ve only had them a once or twice as a kid, I couldn’t remember if they were fishy like those shrimp crackers!!!

Btw, they’re called “snacks for nighttime” because eels are believed to increase male libidos. Also if you have a close look at the box (im guessing you can read jp), you’d notice they contain garlic; another ingredients that is believed to improve sexual capacity! The catchphrase is more of a joke than anything though ;)


September 15, 2015

These actually do sound good! I love unagi. If they showed up in a Snakku box, I would be willing to try them! :)


September 08, 2015

Wow, unagi cookies? I was skeptical at first, but I wouldn’t mind getting one of these to snack on!

I’m actually super excited for the new weekly newsletter via email. Usually spam mail and ads from various web pages are sent, but I simply adore Japan so I welcome these new posts whole-hearted-ly~ ^^
I kind of want to see Japan’s unique events, like their festivals and celebrations/traditions (I heard KFC is mass consumed during Christmas, is that true?). I think adding this will not only promote Japan’s culture, but also the catch interest of many, especially those who live far, far away (like me!)

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