Sake And Sashimi
Surrounded by seas blessed with a rich diversity of marine life, seafood has always been at the heart of Japan’s food culture and like the culinary techniques used to prepare it, the flavors of sake have evolved to match.
It may be common practice to pair seafood with white wine and or light red wines, but in fact, it is sake that provides the best match.
Recent studies have revealed that the iron and sulphuric acid (an antioxidant) present in many wines can cause and even amplify fishy aromas. Sake contains no such antioxidants, and iron levels are close to zero, but sake’s real trump card is that it is high in amino acids, which can enhance the umami in seafood.
Fermentation is the Secret.
Umami is the most important element of Sake flavour. Amino acids are the basis of this umami, and Sake contains many times more amino acids than beer or wine. The sake rice does not originally contain these acids, but rather produces them in great quantities in the complex and unique fermentation process used to brew Sake. The volume of amino acids influences the strength of the Sake’s flavour. This in turn enhances the flavours of food with which it is shared, helping to make meals even more delicious.
Chiyokotobuki Toraya located in Yamagata prefecture, a remote, snowy province on the Japan Sea coast, has emerged as one of Japan’s premier sake-producing regions, its sake beloved for its aromtic, clean, smooth profile. All sakes are recognized as geographic indication which they produce sake with local rice, Dewa Sansan, Miyama Nishiki, Dewa no Sato, etc. With the best climate (cold and snowy) and environment, they continue to produce high quality sake and now recognized overseas.
Its entrepreneurship can be traced back to 1696, and its history is quite long. The riverside of the brewery is surrounded by mountains on the four sides, the west side is a mountain with a height of 1980 meters, and the north side is the area of Saga with the melting of the mountains. Such a rich source of water creates rice, water and climate suitable for winemaking. Thanks to the unique environment in the local area, Chiyokotobuki Toraya has been rooted in the local community since its establishment, and adheres to the principle of quality first, and continues to work hard to promote Japanese wine culture.
Enjoy the pairing
Yellowtail is quite oily and have some texture, it is great to match with sake with a bit fruity taste to create that palate balance. Chiyokotobuki Toraya no Toranoko Junmai Daiginjo is a masterpiece from Chiyokotobuki, using “Henpei polishing”(Flat polishing) to bring out much more rice flavor. This junmai daiginjo brings fruity flavors of honeydew melon, green apple. The mild sweetness and acidity is pair well with yellowtail.
Salmon is slightly oily with a clean finish. Salmon sashimi is best with a sake that clean, slightly fruity, medium-bodied ginjo. Chiyokotobuki Tokubetsu Junmai Dewanosato has fruity aroma and smooth finishing. When paired with the Salmon—the sake’s mild sweetness matches that of the oil taste of the Salmon and provide counterpoint.
Fluke has a firm texture and less oily. It’s a deep-sea fish and have a refreshing and elastic texture. It is good to pair with light, fragrant, elegant sake. Chiyokotobuki Kosui Junmai Daiginjo was brewed with 48% polishing rate Miyamanishiki rice made in Yamagata. Fruity aroma and clean taste with great rice flavor. Good match with Hirami such bit fruity and less oily sashimi.
Toro have unique taste and delicious oily lines. An exceptional part of toro is going to be soft pink together with vibrant white colored lines.
For this oily tuna part, match with a full bodied sake that accentuates the oils in the fish. Chiyokotobuki Toraya Junmai Ginjo Genshu is undiluted sake (genshu), it have rich and powerful of flavor and aroma, with a slightly spicy and finishes dry. A touch of dry and spicy can really support toro’s fat.