Why Seafood & Sake?
Explore how the marriage between delicate seafood
flavours and the elegant profiles of sake result
in true gastronomic delight.

What is Japanese Sake?

Sake is a traditional Japanese beverage made from rice, koji (rice malt), and water, typically containing 15 to 16% alcohol. It is brewed through a meticulous process that converts rice starch to sugar and alcohol. Numerous factors like rice strain and rice polishing ratio can yield diverse results, with flavours ranging from light and citrusy to bold and rich.

The Synergy of Sake & Seafood

“Synchronisation” is what happens when similar aromas and tastes in food and alcoholic beverages blend seamlessly together to heighten the tasting experience. So when sake’s glutamic acid and seafood’s inosinic acid combine to create a synergy of umami, the result is a new dimension of outstanding flavour.

The “Supplemental Effect”

The “supplemental effect” refers to how alcoholic beverages can mask the unpleasant odour of seafood when they are enjoyed together. As the freshness of fish deteriorates, trimethylamine is released, resulting in the undesirable scent. However, sake’s fragrance components effectively neutralises this odour, allowing only delicious flavours to come through.

Sake vs. White Wine

White wine is traditionally believed to pair well with seafood, but the ferrous iron contained in white wine actually intensifies seafood’s unpleasant odour. In contrast, sake contains hardly any iron and thus avoids any negative effects when paired with seafood. Instead, its rich aromas and umami enhance the delightful sweetness of seafood.

Enjoy Sake with Meals

Alcohol falls into two categories: “distilled liquor” and “fermented liquor”. The latter includes beverages like wine, beer, and sake, and their tastes and aromas increase the umami of foods while masking the unpleasant odours of fish. As such, sake is a wonderful meal companion, and a survey in Japan revealed that approximately 70% of people in Japan enjoy sake as their primary alcoholic beverage during meals.