What Does Sake Taste Like?

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Sake TasteAre you not familiar with the taste of sake? Don’t worry; we are here to help you out.

In this article, we will go through several aspects of Sake, such as its taste and how is It made? Does it have health benefits? Etc.

We will also go through some queries related to sake at the end of the article.

What Is Sake?

Sake is an alcoholic drink that originated in Japan and is made by fermenting rice.

The rice is polished before the fermentation process to eliminate the bran.

What Does Sake Taste Like?

Sake has a mildly sweet taste and a savory flavor.

The alcoholic drink has a fruity aroma that is less pronounced than the aroma of wine.

How Is Sake Made?

Here is how Sake is made:

Sourcing The Ingredients

To make good quality Sake, you must source the finest ingredients.

Essentially, Sake is made from high-quality rice and clean water, and Koji spores and Catalyst yeast are also an ingredient in the drink.

The Koji spores are dusted onto the rice to turn the rice starches into sugar, consumed by the Catalyst yeast to make alcohol.

Rice Soaking And Washing

A fixed quantity of rice is washed and soaked for Sake.

While breweries typically wash, measure, and soak the rice before the rice is processed, traditional washing tubs and rice washing bags are also used sometimes.


After the rice is washed and soaked, it is perfect for steaming.

The workers hand-load small amounts of rice in a steamer.

This process is important because it allows the rice to maintain a soft center and a firm outer texture.


When the rice is taken out of the steamer, it is extremely hot and must be cooled down before it is used in further production stages.

While in large breweries, a large refrigerated conveyor system is used to adjust the different temperatures, some breweries still use the traditional way and knead and toss the rice to cool it.  

Making The Koji

The Koji is made in a large, cedar-lined room.

Koji-making can last more than 48 hours, including the inoculation of rice in the Koji pores, control of temperature and humidity, and kneading, which results in white and sweet Koji.

The operating temperature in this cedar-lined room is typically 30 to 32 degrees Celsius.

Fermentation Process

Once a batch of Koji is ready, you must mix yeast and chilled water in the fermentation tank and then add the steamed rice.

This will enable the yeast to regain its strength to produce alcohol and consume sugar during fermentation, which can last for more than 3 weeks.

The temperature in the tank is controlled through cooling jacks, and the ideal temperature is usually 28 degrees Celsius.

How Do You Cook Sake?

Here are some ways you can cook with Sake:

Add Sake In A Marinade

Marinades that have Sake taste better and can tenderize the fish or meat.

Sake is a versatile ingredient and would complement all types of marinade recipes.

Add Sake In Stews And Soup

Add about 1 ½ cup of Sake to a stew or soup to add a deep, rich flavor.

The Sake can complement broths, and you can add it to broth made with chicken, beef, fish broth, or water.

Make A Sauce With Sake

When Sake is added to a sauce, it intensifies the ingredients’ flavor.

This is why you can use Sake to make BBQ sauce and glaze it on baked dishes or grilled fish or meat.

Make Rice With Sake

People often make Japanese rice with water and add a bit of Sake to the rice to give it a more full or distinct flavor.

Make Steamed Food With Sake

The Sake umami flavor can shine when added to steamed food.

In steamed food, use equal parts of water and Sake as the base, and steam different vegetables, shellfish, chicken, or fish.

The resulting flavor or aroma of the dish will make it irresistible.

What Do You Eat Sake With?

Here are some food items that pair well with Sake:

Deep Dish Pizza

This might seem unlikely, but Sake and deep-dish pizza taste good together.

The Sake will cut through the tomato sauce and cheese, bringing the right balance to the meal.

Spicy Thai Food

The multi-layered bitter, salty, sour, and sweet flavor makes Thai food a great match for Sake.

For spicy dishes, you should always choose a Sake with a streak of acidity and a hint of sweetness, which will balance the dish’s bottom notes.


There is always a Sake that you can pair with BBQ dishes.

Cedar-aged Sake is similar to full-bodied red wine and pairs well with red meat and other BBQ dishes.

For sweeter BBQ dishes, you can go for Yamaha Sake which has pleasant and funky game notes but more acidity and sweeter bite.

Is Sake Good For You?

Here are some health benefits that Sake offers:

Digestive Aid

Sake may contain Lactobacillus, a Lactic acid bacteria, and has probiotic properties that can help with digestive issues, especially diarrhea.

However, nowadays, the quantity of lactic acid in Sake is lower than before, so the drink is not as beneficial as it used to be.

The problem started when Japan industrialized the fermentation process, and the combination of acid-forming bacteria plays a smaller role than before.

Can Prevent Cerebrovascular And Cardiac Disease

Moderate consumption of Sake can prevent Cerebrovascular and Cardiac diseases by reducing cholesterol and blood clots in the body.

The moderate consumption of Sake can increase Urokinase, a substance released by blood clots.

Sake lees or Sakekasu also affect reducing the cholesterol level.

Can Prevent Osteoporosis

Sake contains amino acids, such as Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine, that can build and repair skeletal muscle and prevent Osteoporosis.

Also, the main ingredient in Sake, Koji, has five types of Cathepsin-L inhibitors, which can prevent Osteoporosis.

Can Prevent High Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure can cause cerebrovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, angina pain, and strokes.

Sake has about 9 varieties of peptides that have enzymes that, when activated in access, can cause high blood pressure.

Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Sake contains three types of Peptides that can prevent vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Peptides have PEP, which can prevent these diseases.

Can Lower The Risk Of Cancer

In Japan, the National Cancer center did a cohort study for 17 years on 265,000 Japanese men and concluded that those men who consume Sake daily have a lower risk of developing cancer than non-sake consumers.

Sake has an amino acid that can eliminate the cancer cells in the body.

Check out 5 Best Vegetable Juicers.

Sake’s other elements can prevent uterine, prostate, and bladder cancer cells.

Glucosamine, found in Sake, can activate the anti-tumor killing cells.

Lastly, Sake also has a low mortality rate for lung and Cirrhosis cancer than other alcoholic beverages such as Wine, Shochu, Whiskey, and Beer.

Check out 5 Best Slow Juicers and 5 Best Stovetop Pressure Cookers.

Related Questions About Sake?

Which Sake Brands Are The Best?

There are more than 17,000 manufacturers of Sake in the market, offering more than 10,000 products.

Check out 5 Best Lasagna Pans and 5 Best Pastry Boards.

You can try out these brands: Otokoyama, Juyondai, Dassai or Kokuryu.

How To Drink Sake?

While this is hotly debated, you can drink Sake warm or cold.

However, premium Sake is consumed cold not to influence the aroma or flavor.


This article will help you understand the different aspects of Sake, such as its flavor, how to use it in cooking, its benefits, etc.

We have also discussed some queries related to Sake, which will give you some clarity.