sake can be paired with many different foods

21 May 2018


Just like wine, sake can be paired with many different foods. However, when it comes to sake, one big difference is umami.

The amino acid glutamate, which is present in vegetables and fermented foods, is called the umami. It is generally described as savory, and is one of the five basic tastes (together with saltiness, bitterness, sweetness and sourness). But when glutamate is combined with the nucleotides (another type of umami) such as inosinate (found in fish and meat), it magnifies the umami taste even more.

Compared to wine, sake is lower in tart, such as tartaric acid and malic acids, but is higher in amino acids. This means that sake itself is rich in umami, so it is recommended to pair it with foods also containing umami.

Our recommend sake for today is the Eikun Ichigin Junmai Dai Ginjo. It has a tangy and rich flavour. This sake leans a little bit more on the drier side, yet it has an incredibly smooth and clean taste.

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Our pairing recommendation is Japanese canned fish. It’s no secret that fish contains umami, and that, combined with delicious sauce will help bring out the taste of the sake. As a bonus, there is no hassle, no preparing, and no mess. Perfect for busy days, when you just want to relax with a cup of sake and a quick snack.


The canned fish comes in a variety of flavours. You can have it just salted, with soy sauce or miso, and sweet sauce.The delicate umami flavor of the grilled Sanma (pacific saury) is a great match to Eikun Ichigin Junmai Dai Ginjo.

Saba (mackerel) comes in three flavors - salt, sweet soy sauce and miso. Each of them will create a unique flavor when paired with our recommended sake. Last but not least, we suggest trying canned iwashi (sardine). It comes salted, grilled in soy sauce, and sweet soy sauce. Apart from being rich in umami, sardines are also a healthy choice since they are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, and are also good source of vitamin D, calcium, B12 and protein.

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We hope you will enjoy our recommendations! Stay tuned for more articles about sake.


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