Watch: Wondering what to drink sake with? Your guide to pairing the drink with seafood

In the third of a four-part series exploring the Japanese fermented rice beverage, sommelier Raul Diaz looks at what makes sake such a great partner for seafood.

Seafood x sake

We've brought you videos explaining what sake is and we've told you all about the many different styles of sake that are brewed around Japan. Spoiler warning: there's quite a few.

This third iteration of our four-part series exploring the Japanese fermented rice beverage should hopefully be just as useful. If you're ever wondered what sort of food you should be drinking sake with, our guide to what food and dishes pair best with the drink should see you right. It turns out that seafood, in particular, goes especially great with the stuff. So why not settle down this evening with a hunk of salmon and an ice-cold glass of sake this evening?

Cheers – or should we say kanpai? – to that.

A guide to what seafood to pair with your sake

Seafood and sake is a match made in heaven, which probably shouldn't be a surprise when you consider that sake comes from a country surrounded and shaped by the ocean.

This isn't just about history and culture, though – it's also about science. Sake has around five times as much amino acid as you’ll find in wine, which works in harmony with seafood's umami flavour profile. Sake also contains little iron and no sulphuric acid, so the raw, fishy odours that some find a little off-putting are toned down immensely. Even your sushi-fearing friends might find themselves enjoying a slice of sashimi when accompanied by a choko of sake.

The sheer variety of sake – spanning from smooth, refreshing and aromatic serves to rich and aged – makes it easy to find a perfect partner for any seafood dish.

Honjozo sakes

Cereal, bready characters

Pair beautifully with richer dishes with high levels of umami, like mackerel pate on sourdough toast, prawn risotto, and fish and mushroom pie.

Ginjo and daiginjo sakes

Floral, fruity and aromatic

Work fantastically well with aromatic dishes. Especially pronounced fish flavours like ceviche, Spanish cod croquettes and fish soup.

But whatever seafood you pair sake with, you'll experience it in a whole new way.