Discover new flavors with sake

11 Jul 2018

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As you may already know, there are many words to describe the taste of sake. It can be described as dry or sweet, rich or fresh and clean, sharp, etc.

Some believe that “tasting” sake involves three senses. The two main senses that are involved in tasting are smell and taste. But some say there is a third sense - it is that indescribable enjoyment of tasting new flavors you’ve never experienced before. The sense is born when pairing sake with a well-matching food, and it allows you to enjoy the sake more than ever before.

The vast variety of sake available in the market might be overwhelming since you will want to choose the right sake for this experience. There are three essential prerequisites for a good sake. Firstly, sake must be rich in amino acids, which means it will also contain a lot of umami. Secondly, sake has to have a rich flavor of rice. Lastly, sake has to be dry and go down smoothly.

Although, these requirements sound quite simple, they are not achieved easily. If the sake has a very strong flavor of rice, it will be too sweet. If the sake is too dry, it will not have enough flavor of rice. However, there is a sake which meets all three requirements. It is Asabiraki Suijin Junmai Okarakuchi. Sujin is a Shinto god of water, Junmai means pure rice, and karakuchi means dry. Junmai-shu is made only from rice, koji and water, highlighting the flavor of the rice and koji more than other varieties. Junmai-shu is typically high in acidity and umami, with relatively little sweetness. We can see that this sake already meets all the three requirements just by reading the name of it.

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If you would like to experience a new taste, we recommend trying the recipe below.

You will need:

1. Cream cheese cut into 2x2 squares.
2. A pinch of sea salt, rock salt, or table salt.
3. Suijin Junmai Okarakuchi 300 ml

Follow these steps:

1. Taste one sip of sake to feel its taste and aroma.
2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the cream cheese.
3. Let the salt absorb into the cream cheese for around 40 seconds. The salt will help bring out the amino acids which the main component of the umami flavor.
4. After 40 seconds, enjoy the cheese with the rich umami flavor.
5. Take a sip of Suijin Junmai Okarakuchi again.

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You will feel as if you are drinking completely different sake. This is the moment the new taste is born. However, this can only be achieved with the sake that has the right balance.

 

Rice used for sake brewing is slightly differently from a regular table rice – the fat and the proteins are on the outside part while the starch is in the core of the grain. This starch cocnetrated opaque part with a distinctly-white nucleus is called shinpaku. The high starch content in shinpaku is will ferment once converted to sugar; and bring out the umami of rice. Asabiraki is a long-established sake brewery is in Iwate, the north eastern part of the main island in Japan, and their Suijin Junmai Okarakuchi is made according to the acclaimed Nanbu Style brewing technique.

Try this sake and cream cheese combination! We promise you won't be dissapointed!

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