Foods matching Japanese SAKE – Part 1 HEALTHY FOODS

Foods for japanese sake

Nagano Prefecture is very popular as the longest average life span of the residents as well as the multitude of Jizake (locally brewed SAKE) companies in Japan.
It’s said that the key to their health is the local cuisine.

In the middle of October, a talk show was held at “Ginza NAGANO” (Tokyo) organized by Nagano Pref., and the guest speakers who are SAKE experts introduced the seasonal SAKE and Foods which match those SAKE.

 GUEST SPEAKERS |  TODAY’S SAKE |  TODAY’S CUISINE |  Ginza NAGANO

Guest Speakers:

  • Mr. John Gauntner (Sake Expert Assessor/ Master of Sake Tasting, The representative director of SAKE WORLD)
  • Ms. Takako Yokoyama (Cooking expert)
  • Ms. Kumi Miyasaka (Director of Cella MASUMI, Miyasaka Brewing Company, Ltd.)
Mr. John Gauntner
Mr. John Gauntner
Ms. Takako Yokoyama
Ms. Takako Yokoyama
Ms. Kumi Miyasaka
Ms. Kumi Miyasaka


Today’s SAKE lineup:

Mujinzo, Mizuo and Daishinshu

Five kinds of SAKE produced in Nagano Pref. were served, which Mr. Gauntner selected based on their characteristics.
As for the types, please see this page “Types of Japanese SAKE (Nihonshu)”.
(The following linked pages are written in Japanese.)

  1. Sakunohana/ Sakunohana Shuzo Co Ltd. – Junmai daiginjoshu (brewers’ rice: Hitogokochi)
    • * This sake brewery has a lot of new equipments but there are many steps by hand process.
    • * Goes well with canned mackerel and tofu with shoyu-koji (soy sauce malted rice) dressing. (see below)
    sakunohana
    Sakunohana
  2. Kamenoumi/ Tsuchiya Brewery Co. Ltd. – Junmai ginjoshu (brewers’ rice: Miyama nishiki)
    • * Using eight kinds of yeast and has a pronounced scent.
    • * The brew master is an elderly person, and this brewery challenges themselves to make SAKE adopting both old and new methods of brewing.
  3. Mujinzo/ Kitsukura shuzo Co. Ltd. – Junmai ginjoshu (brewers’ rice: Hitogokochi)
    • * The mother water is excellent and soft, and you can feel it.
    • * It’s said that the water is the best in the region.
    • * Goes well with vinegared radish and chrysanthemum. (see blow)
  4. Mizuo/ Tanakaya Brewing Co Ltd. – Tokubetsu junmaishu (brewers’ rice: Kinmon nishiki)
    • * Tastes gentle, light and simple.
    • * Has a full flavor and tongue touch feeling is good.
    • * Goes well with “Shinshu Golden Shamo (game fowl)”, which is thel fowl meat originaly developed in Nagano pref. (see below)
  5. Daishinshu/ Daishinshu Shuzou Co. Ltd. – Junmai daiginjoshu (brewers’ rice: Kinmon nishiki)
    • * Brothers brew at this sake brewery.
    • * Their SAKE is “single cask”.
    • * The taste is refreshing and light.
    • * Has a deep and smooth taste as a typical Daiginjoshu.

The attendants have a toast with Kamenoumi, which tastes rich, sharp and non-heavy and you can feel honey.

Kamenoumi
Kamenoumi

Japanese SAKE goes well with almost all Washoku (Japanese foods) very much.
SAKE brings out the natural flavors of foods.

From September to October, “Hiyaoroshi” season starts.
Japanese sake is brewed in winter (from October to March) and distributed from early winter.
Hiyaoroshi served here is Autumn seasonal SAKE which is stored and matured during summer, and its taste becomes mellower.

Mr. John Gauntner is giving a lecture.
Mr. John Gauntner is giving a lecture.


Today’s Cuisine:

Japanese cuisine has been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Ms. Yokoyama said that Japanese SAKE and foods may be related to the state of having a long life.
When you eat out, you can enjoy delicious dishes, but at home, you had better cook something that is not boring.
Taking soup stock is important when preparing good cuisine in our daily life.

And the local SAKE especially matches the seasonal foods of its production area.

Today, many good local cuisine using Shinshu (Nagano pref.)-branded ingredients prepared by Ms. Yokoyama were served.

  1. Napa cabbage, red seaweed, green pepper and carrot seasoned with salt
  2. Napa cabbage Chinese cabbage, red seaweed, green pepper and carrot seasoned with salt
    Napa cabbage Chinese cabbage, red seaweed, green pepper and carrot seasoned with salt
  3. Canned mackerel and tofu with shoyu-koji (soy sauce malted rice)
    • * Shoyu-koji is a fermented health food.
    • * It has natural sweetness by koji, so you have no need to use sugar.
    Canned mackerel and tofu with shoyu-koji
    Canned mackerel and tofu with shoyu-koji
  4. Shinshu Golden Shamo (game fowl) seasoned with shoyu-koji
    • * We can make shoyu-koji by mixing 1/2 soy sauce and 1/2 koji, and leave it a week or so stirring once a day.
    • * It’ll be more delicious by adding boiled black soy-beans to shoyu-koji.
    Shinshu Golden Shamo (game fowl) seasoned with shoyu-koji
    Shinshu Golden Shamo (game fowl) seasoned with shoyu-koji
  5. Lightly roasted Shinshu Premium Beef preserved in miso (bean paste) on a leaf of‘hoba’(magnolia)
    • * Smoked shamo, liver and Japanese leeks are also preserved in miso overnight.
    • * Only miso is used as a seasoning.
    Lightly roasted Shinshu Premium Beef preserved in miso (bean paste) on a leaf of ‘hoba’ (magnolia)
    Lightly roasted Shinshu Premium Beef preserved in miso (bean paste) on a leaf of ‘hoba’ (magnolia)
  6. Vinegared radish and chrysanthemum
  7. Vinegared radish and chrysanthemum
    Vinegared radish and chrysanthemum
  8. Cabbage, potato and radish salad
    • * Dressing is non-oil type.
    Cabbage, potato and radish salad
    Cabbage, potato and radish salad
  9. Obira-jiru
    • * A local cuisine in Kiso area.
    • * A kind of misoshiru (miso soup) with a variety of ingredients.
    Obira-jiru
    Obira-jiru
  10. Sa-shi-su ume Takikomi-gohan (mixed rice)
    • * Mixing rice and “Sa-shi-su ume” which has little salt due to the action of vinegar.
    • * “Sa-shi-su ume” is dried ume (plum) made by fully ripened ume and pickled with sugar, salt and vinegar.
    • * Ms. Yokoyama’s original cooking recipe named by her.

    Sa-shi-su ume Takikomi-gohan (mixed rice)
    Sa-shi-su ume Takikomi-gohan (mixed rice)

Eating the vinegared radish with chrysanthemum before you start to drink will do you good.
Ms. Yokoyama cultivated the chrysanthemum without using agrochemicals in her garden.

Fermented vegetables are good for health and rich in fiber, and supposed to be the key to longevity.
They have been relatively developed in cold areas.

My homemade shoyu-koji. It's still a little bit hard.
My homemade shoyu-koji. It’s still a little bit hard.


Ginza NAGANO

Gnza NAGANO is an antenna shop for various products of Nagano Pref. in Ginza, Tokyo.
It has also an event space.

There are a lot of Wine produced in Nagano Pref. other than SAKE.
There are a lot of Wine produced in Nagano Pref. other than SAKE.



Ginza NAGANO Not only foods and drinks, they sell various items such as the traditional crafts.
Not only foods and drinks, they sell various items such as the traditional crafts.