Table implements


Beef Tataki and Wagyu



Te-makizushi making sushi and seaweed wrap

Green Tea Swiss Roll


Tempura batter courgettes


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John Farren

Meeting 386 - "A Japanese Evening"

1. More about Japanese food
2. Ingredients
3. How to eat and drink the Japanese way
4. How to eat rice and use chopsticks
5. Japanese Sakes
6. Return to main text.

Japanese Sakes

Ozeki Dry Futsu Sake *(details from the Japan Centre Website)
       (Drink hot)
       Ozeki Dry sake is a dry sake with a refreshing fruity flavor and tastes best when served either chilled, or gently warmed to around 40-45 degrees celsius. With its lower than average alcohol content, smooth taste, and versatility of ideal serving temperature, this sake is ideal for first-time sake drinkers to try and experiment with. It pairs well with chicken, light Asian dishes, sashimi, sushi, and it can be also poured over fresh or grilled oysters to add depth of flavour.
       Sake Category: Junmai (pure rice wine)
       Alcohol 14.5%
       Sake Metre Value: +8 (very dry)
       Acidity: 1.3 (low to average)
       Flavour: Dry, fruity, smooth.
       Fragrance: Mild
       Drinking Temperature: Chilled or warmed to 40-45 degrees celsius
       Food Pairing: Delicious with light umami dishes like chicken, light Asian dishes, sushi and sashimi.

       Specialised Sakes (Nos. 1 to 4 are drunk chilled. Nos 5 and 6 are drunk at room temperature)

Note: Sweetness levels are 1(Dry) to 5 (sweet)

       1) Honjozo Akashi-Tai
       Alcohol 15%
       Honjozo Akashi-Tai's sake is made to be slightly lighter in style than their other types of sake, using high quality rice and a small amount of brewers alcohol to create a crisp, dry and easy to drink sake.
       On the Bottle: "Medium bodied with a savoury, earthy character. Complements a wide variety of food from fresh seafood to grilled meats. Serve chilled or warm.Recommended 55C maximum serving temperature. Degree of milling 65%.i.e. 65% of rice used. Ingredients rice, koji, distilled alcohol."

       2) Shirataki "Jozen White" Junmai Ginjo Sake.
       English text on box: Shirataki Sake Brewery is based in Echigo Yuzawa Town in Nigata Prefecture. This mountainous area is famed for its high quality rice and is renowned for its heavy snowfall which provides an abundance of clear natural water. These two elements are the most important ingredients used in the production of sake.
       Jozen White has a smooth, palatable taste and is pure like water. The Junmai Ginjo range of sake is characterised by its fruity aroma and is a good partner to any food. Recommended with Seafood, Poultry, and meat. Best drunk chilled or at room temperature.

       Japanesetext: Light taste. Fragrance reminiscent of fresh fruit. Rounded after taste of pure rice.
       Rice is Polished to 60% (i.e.40% removed by polishing, 60% used in brewing.)
       Alcohol 12% by vol.
       Raw materials: Rice, water, sake yeast.

       3) Daiginjo Akashi-Tai
       The Daiginjo Akashi-Tai is made using 100% Yamada Nishiki rice grown in Hyogo Prefecture. A brew master watches over the koji for 72 hours - without sleeping - to ensure the absolute finest of sakes. A fruity fragrance and tropical notes can be detected amid the full-bodied flavours.
       Text on the bottle:"Daiginjo is an aromatic medium-bodied sake with a hint of honey, lily, pear and a touch of spiceyness. This sake not only satisfies connoisseurs, it is also recommended for those who are just starting to drink sake. Serve chilled in a glass to enjoy its fantastic aroma. Suggested food pairing - hot or cold seafood, meat dishes or sweet and hot dishes such as Thai food. Degree of milling 40%. Ingredients: rice, malted rice, distilled alcohol."
       Alcohol: 17%
       Sweetness: 1

       4) Junmai Daiginjo Akashi-Tai
       One of Akashi-Tai's flagship products, using fine polished rice and extra long brewing to produce a rich and crisp sake. A fruity nose which retains the crispness you look for in a good sake, fresh fruit with apple on the palate followed by hints of peach, apricot and banana. Complex finish, the fruit concluding with a crisp flourish.
       On bottle text: "Junmai Daiginjo is a full-bodied sake with hints of melon, sage and bitter orange. Although it is fruity on the nose, it has the long dry finish with a touch of mineral. Serve chilled in a wine glass to fully enjoy its aroma. Suggested food pairing - hot or cold seafood, cured meat, peppery vegetables such as rocket or radish. Degree of milling 40%. i.e. only 40% of rice used.
       Alcohol: 17%
       Sweetness: 2
       Ingredients: rice, malted rice.

       5) Honjozo Genshu Akashi-Tai
       The undiluted Honjozo Akashi-Tai (i.e. no water added) is a satisfyingly full-bodied sake. This is the drink the brew masters reach for at the end of a working day. This is perhaps the most direct way to savour the full palate of our sake. The flavour continues to mellow pleasingly over time.
       Text on bottle: "Honjozo Genshu is a full-bodied sake with an extremely velvety and buttery texture. The structure, palate and alcoholic strength are in perfect harmony. A great accompaniment for all kinds of savoury food it can also be enjoyed as a digestif. Recommended serving temperature 10 - 40C" 19 % by vol. Degree of milling 65%"
       Alcohol: 19%
       Sweetness: 4

       6) Genmai Yamadanishiki Akashi-Tai 2012
       The Genmai Akashi-Tai was first created in 2002 using the finest of rices for sake - Yamada Nishiki - in an almost entirely unpolished form. Because unpolished brown rice was used, this sake required extra special attention to detail, such as double-steaming of the rice. Bottled after being allowed to age, the Genmai Akashi-Tai will continue to grow in delicious complexity if allowed to age further. Newly fermented sake cannot provide this kind of mature complexity of flavours. The 2012 vintage brings out all the nuances of fragrance and flavour inherent in rice.
       Text on bottle: "A revolutionary brew made from unpolished brown rice and aged since 2012. This rich, unique sake shows hints of caramel, lime and cocoa. Enjoy with meat and fish dishes. Also a good match for chocolate, nuts or as a digestif. Best served at 10 - 40 C" Alc 17% by vol. Degree of milling 100%."
       Alcohol: 17%
       Sweetness 1

       Junmai: pure rice sake - full bodied, often creamy with lots of rice character.
       Honjozo: is a lighter more fragrant sake due to the addition of brewer's alcohol.
       Ginjo: is premium sake where more of each rice is polished away - often fruity and aromatic.
       Daiginjo: is the posh stuff where at least half of each grain is milled away - handmade, elegant, top-drawer sake.