Saké & Food -- Infinite Pairing Possibilities


With the rising popularity of saké across America, creative chefs are blowing our minds with amazing saké pairings to take our taste buds to new heights.  Many dishes use ingredients we hadn't previously considered as saké-friendly. So, as we eat our way through life, we've been making note of some of our favorite dishes to pair with our favorite saké. The result? We are repeatedly amazed by saké's ability to complement a diverse range of flavors.  Experimenting has forever shifted and expanded our perspective on saké and food. It can shift and expand your perspective too.

The notion that every meal must have a perfectly paired beverage tends to hinder the fun of food and drink. Rather, it is experimentation and discovery that makes a meal most memorable. Only a few simple suggestions are needed to guide your exploration of saké and food pairing, while ensuring a delicious outcome. 

Saké should…

  • Contrast with the food in a positive way, or;
  • Complement the food in an easy manner, or;
  • Merge with the food flavors to create something entirely new and dynamic.

Bottom line? It should get you excited to have the next bite and take the next sip.

Use these tried-and-true suggestions from pairings we've enjoyed as a guideline for flavor components to explore; but, also explore on your own. Let us know if you find a pairing that amazes you!


Dry & Crisp Junmai Ginjo

Dungeness Crab and thick rice noodle soup with snap peas, cranberry (Roman) beans and Thai basil.

Vegetable medley of mushrooms, roasted poblano, caramelized onions and sherry vinegar.

We paired this with Momokawa Silver and our Kasumi Tsuru Yamahai Junmai Ginjo.


Medium Dry Junmai Ginjo

Chilled Kimchi and soba noodle salad with hard boiled egg, toasted sesame seeds and sea salt.

Chocolate-coconut tart with mango salsa and shredded coconut.

Mochi with figs, chestnuts and a balsamic vinegar reduction.

A great saké pairing for this is Momokawa Diamond or Murai Family Sugidama.


Lightly Fruity Junmai Ginjo

Scallop and clam chowder with oyster plant (salsify) and parsley

Smoked chicken taquitos with avocado-tomatillo salsa.

Momokawa Ruby or Hakutsuru Superior make a lovely pairing.


Creamy Nigori

Grilled Angus skirt steak, red chili salsa, crispy fried onions and a lime-vinegar dressed cabbage slaw piled onto a corn tostada.

Coffee and cocoa rubbed pork with plantain, cashew and cilantro.

Honey gelato with cocoa, fresh basil chiffonade and candied ginger.

Momokawa Organic Nigori and Hakutsuru Sayuri are delicious companions.


Creamy Nigori Genshu

Grilled chicken, homemade mole poblano, black beans and a lightly tossed vinaigrette arugula salad.

Butter Brickle ice cream with a splash of premium Rum and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Or, equally delicious is Rum Raisin ice cream sprinkled with chopped dried tart cherries.

Try Momokawa Pearl or Murai Family Nigori Genshu for a perfect match.


Junmai Ginjo Genshu

Tri-tip brushed with smoky spiced barbecue sauce.

Wild mushroom and pork belly pizza.

G fifty will be incredible with dishes like these.


Fruit Forward Medium Rich Junmai Ginjo

Seafood enchiladas with creamy tomatillo sauce.

Cavatelli pasta with gulf shrimp and chantrelles.

Peppercorn bacon cheeseburger with fries.

Momokawa Organic Junmai or Yoshinogawa “Winter Warrior” Junmai Ginjo are sure to be a hit.


Have some of your own delicious pairings? We’d love to see them – send them our way or share on social media, tagging #KanpaiLife.

Stay tuned right here every Saké-Sunday for more tips, tricks and lessons to keep you fresh on saké.

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