Sweet sake: The Sugary Side of the Traditional Sake

Things to remember when drinking sake

Sake is a drink that comes with the Japanese tradition. In fact, there are certain things to remember when drinking it with the locals. First, a person should never pour his own sake. Second, the preparation of sake (chilled or warmed) depends on what type of sake it is. Third, in the Japanese tradition, the host should automatically refill the sake of their guests. Fourth, there are different cups that should be used on a certain type of sake. Fifth, the more rice there is in the sake brand, the more expensive it is.

Sweet sake drinks to try

The Amazake, which literally translates to sweet sake, is a milky and delicious drink that is non-alcoholic contrary to its name. In fact, there is information that it is good for an upset stomach used by kids and adults. It is usually made by mixing koji and cooked rice. The koji breaks the starch in the rice into simple sugar, thus making it sweet. It does not contain alcohol because it does not complete the process of fermentation that takes about 3-4 weeks.

Manuel Menal [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

According to cookbooks, it can be used at home as a snack, dessert, baby food, salad dressing, a sweetening agent, an ingredient for a smoothie. Interestingly, it has a high fiber content because of the fact that it is made of rice. In terms of the calorie content, a serving of 100 gram of this drink does contain 134 calories. According to a book by John and Jan Belleme, brown rice amazake is very healthy due to reason it contains a lot of nutrients that a whole grain brown rice has. It contains minerals such as selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. In addition to this, it also provides thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B for the human body. Furthermore, it contains enzymes and bacteria that are good for the digestion.

Sweet sake used for cooking

Japanese are very well-known for their tasty and savory cuisines. The secret to some of their dishes is their use of sake or rice wine in cooking. As a matter of fact, this is considered a vital ingredient in their known dishes. The brewing process of sake is the same as that of a beer. Thus, the sugar from the rice starch is fermented into alcohol with the help of yeast. The sake is used as a marinade to remove the odor from meat or fish. In fact, it also tenderizes the meat with the use of its natural moisture. In addition to this, it adds umami (naturally sweet flavor) to dishes, sauces, and soup stocks. Not only does it enhance the flavor of the dishes but also it adds health benefit when it is eaten.

Sweet Japanese rice wine, also known as Mirin, is basically used as a glazing agent that has a syrup like texture. It also has alcohol content but only minimal as compared to a normal sake. However, it has a high sugar content so it easily burns when used for cooking. Aside from adding glaze to the dishes, it is also used to add sweetness to the food. At the same time, it can also tenderize meat for easy cooking. Of course, it also magnifies the flavors that are incorporated in a certain dish. There are four types of Mirin such as the Hon Mirin, Mirin. Mirin-like condiment, and Mirin-type condiment.

Unusual Kinds of Sweet Sake in Food

Sweet sake flavored Kit Kat

Kit Kat is a sweet wafer snack that originated in Japan. It comes in different flavor and design. The Japanese are quite inventive the with their Kit Kat flavor, one of the most creative is the Sake flavor. For those who are outside of Japan, it is available for sale on Amazon. When using the prime account for Amazon, it has a two-day free shipping. Customer's feedbacks say that they enjoy this product because of its sweetness and mild flavor of sake. As a matter of fact, it only contains 0.8% alcohol. So, this is not usually recommended for minors.

Sweet sake soy sauce

The soy sauce is an essential condiment in a Japanese household. It gives flavor to certain cuisines such as sushi, maki, and nigiri (used as a dipping sauce). Also, it is used as an ingredient for marinade sauce for certain Japanese dishes. The traditional soy sauce can be made at home with just using two ingredients that include shoyu (soy sauce) and mirin (sweet, low-alcohol rice wine). To make the soy sauce, add the mirin and soy sauce into the pan. Then, wait until the sauce is heated into a boil that helps eliminate the alcohol. Next, decrease the heat into a low simmer before it reaches the boiling point. Lastly, simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Sweet sake Marinade and Sauce recipe

The sweet sake is mainly for a marinade and to produce flavorful sauces that go well with Japanese dishes. Sake is truly a remarkable discovery made by the Japanese. One example of Japanese sauce is the classic Japanese marinade that is made of garlic, ginger, sake, and mirin. This type of sauce is not only used as a marinade but also as a glazed sauce used when grilling. A variety of this sauce is with additional apple or honey for more sweetness. In addition to the classic Japanese marinade, the Yakiniku sauce is a known sauce used for Japanese dishes. Basically, this type of sauce is used for grilling meat. Furthermore, the ingredients for this sauce include miso, mirin, sake, bonito flakes, and sesame seeds. Ideally, this is used as a dipping sauce for grilled meats. The tangy wasabi marinade is a classic Japanese marinade that is made out of dry mustard, wasabi, and sake. It is best to use it when cooking fish and meat.

Sweet sake soy sauce substitute

If there is no available sake in the pantry and this ingredient is very vital for the dish. It is recommended to use dry sherry or Chinese rice wine. However, this can only be substituted for the small amount only. Another way of making up a sake substitute is by using rice wine vinegar added with water or white grape juice. A dry sherry is a wine enhanced with brandy thus making it more complex and increasing its alcohol content. It is a very healthy and nutritious drink and is believed to be a cure for a hangover in Japan.

Sweet sake bonito

This is a popular seasoning for Japanese rice that is made up of high-quality bonito and sesame seeds. It is available for sale on a 1.5 oz bottle. For the customers in the United States, this food item is available for shipping on Amazon. Though, it is not eligible for shipping internationally. There are mixed reviews given by customers and it is rated with 4 stars according to the said reviews. It is added into the cart once a customer is interested to buy. The ingredients for this Japanese seasoning include roasted sesame white seed, dried shaved bonito, sugar, salt, soy sauce, sweet rice wine, kelp extract, yeast extract, and dried black seaweed.

Delicious Sweet sake recipes

Sake marinade beef ribs

This dish is perfect for lunch and dinner with the family. It is very important to marinate the beef ribs overnight, totally submerged with sake. The ribs are then cooked in the oven for 3 hours. Toss onions, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, and additional sake together with the ribs in the oven. Cook until meat is tender then season with salt and pepper.

Grilled swordfish with miso sauce

This simple Japanese style dish is the way to go when having guests over. The fish is then marinated in soy, sake, and mirin before it is tossed in the grill. The marinade sauce is made using spinach (pureed), ginger, miso, sake, mirin, and sansho powder. Then, marinate the fish in a resealable bag for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Finally, cook it over the grill until the fish is beautifully glazed.

Cedar-planked salmon with lemon and dill

The raw salmon is cured with sugar, salt, dill, and lemon zest for a time of at least 90 minutes. Then, the fish is finally soaked in sake for one hour that gives the dish a rich and enhanced flavor. After this, pat dries the fish before putting it on top of the grill. Make sure to cook for about 10 minutes for both sides.

Japanese sake steamed clam

Before anything else, make sure to de-grit the clams after buying it from the market. To de-grit the clams, soak them is salt water mix for about 30 minutes (better if it's overnight). Then, bring to boil the sake and ginger. After that, place all the clams in the skillet the wait till it opens. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.

Teba Shio or salted chicken wings

First, prepare all the ingredients such as chicken wings, sake, salt, lemon (optional) and pepper. Then, soak the chicken wings on the sake (make sure it is totally submerged) for about 15 minutes. Place the chicken on the broiler rack after patting it dry. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes each per side of the chicken wings.

Sweet sake wine brands

The Hakushika Japanese Orchard brand is a fruity sake that is both tangy and zesty. It has at least 10% alcohol and is available in different flavors such as Yuzu, pineapple, pear, and peach. It is offered for sale in a 200 ml bottle that is well packaged. The Yatsushika Ginjo Momo is a sweet and aromatic sake that is made using Kyokai 1801 Kobo yeast. It is normally brewed in Kyoto and has at least 15% alcohol content. It is available for sale in a 720 ml bottle. The Nito Yamadanishiki is a junmai ginjo type of sake that is just light and a little bit sweet. It is purely made out of yamadanishiki rice and is brewed exclusively in Chubu. It has an alcohol content of 16% and is best served chilled.

Simon-sake [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

The Ippongi Amauruoshi brand is a junmai ginjo type that has the taste and sweetness of ripe peaches. It is usually available on a 720 ml bottle with 16% alcohol content. The Miyosakae Tanrei Junmai sake is a sweet that embodies a sweet aroma that is likened to a white flower or lotus. It is brewed by Seiryo Shuzo Co. Ltd. And it has an alcohol content of 14.5%.

It is recommended to be served as chilled, warmed, or just on room temperature. The brand Mizubasho Junmai Daiginjo is a rich and slightly sweet sake that is brewed by Nagai Shuzo. It has an alcohol content of 16% and is suggested to be served as chilled. It is best paired with Umami enhanced traditional cuisine. The Miyosakae Tinme brand is a slightly sweet sake that is best served chilled. It is made by the Seryo Shuzo brewery in Japan.