Category Archives: Did You Know?

Everything You Need To Know About Sake

The Sake Facts and Sake Tips

Japanese rice wine or sake is made by fermenting rice, where the starches are converted into sugar, and then alcohol during the brewing process. Alcohol content of sake generally ranges from 14% to 16%, though there are exceptions.

Served hot or chilled, sake comes in different varieties. There’s the sweet, low-alcohol Amasake, the locally micro-brewed Jisake, the Kuroshu from brown rice, the clear color, unfiltered Muroka, the unpasteurized Namazake requiring refrigeration, the undiluted Genshu with the highest alcohol content of up to 20%, the cloudy and unfiltered Nigori Sake, acidic and undermatured Shiboritate, and the aged and woody Taruzake.

Sake is not only for drinking, but cooking as well. However, the sake used for cooking is polished less so that it has a bolder, rice flavor, and also has a lower alcohol content. A good quality cooking sake adds flavor to food.

When do you drink sake?

It is often enjoyed during appetizers or tapas style dining, not often as part of a large meal. It is sipped with sashimi. Weddings and other formal occasions are celebrated with it. Sometimes, Japanese sake is mixed with modern drinks, as an ingredient in mixed cocktails. Sake may be served either hot, cold, or at room temperature. Hot is preferred during cooler weather, chilled during hot times. Usually, high quality sake is served at room temperature. Japanese sake is typically sold in large bottles, but it is poured into smaller vessels or ceramic flasks, known as “tokkuri”.

There is a proper way of pouring sake. Firstly, always pour sake for others, not for yourself, even if you did the pouring for everyone else. Let somebody pour yours. When pouring for others, make sure to place two hands on the flask, regardless how small. It is a show of respect. If someone is pouring for you, cradle the small cup in the palm of one hand, resting your freehand fingers on the side of the cup,which is slightly leaning towards the pourer. If you’re drinking sake in a work or business related function, be mindful of seniority and status when pouring sake.

Then be sure everyone is served their drinks before you raise your cup for a toast. The traditional Japanese term for “cheers” is “kanpai!” Ochako sake cups are raised and gently touched together.

Enjoying Sake in Seattle

Knowing more about sake – the process, varieties, temperatures, the vessels used, and when and how it is shared – will make you more responsive to this iconic drink. Over at I Love Sushi on Lake Union, your sushi restaurant in Seattle, we’d love to further your interest in sake while you enjoy our sushi.

Why Edamame Beans?

Edamame’s Surprising Benefits

If you love soy milk or tofu, you’ll love edamame. Young and green when they are picked, edamame is soft and edible. They are great additions for green salads, rice dishes, and in Japanese foods. The versatile beans can be cooked in many ways: boiled, steamed, microwaved, or pan-seared. They can be seasoned with sea salt, red pepper flakes, or sesame seeds. Hot or cold, they’re great as appetizer of snack.

Edamame Health Benefits

Each 155-gram (g) cup of frozen, prepared edamame beans contains 8g each of fat and dietary fiber, and lots of minerals to boot: calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and potassium. The young beans also have lots of folate (121% of daily requirement), vitamin K (52%) and C (20%).

Edamame beans are soy foods, a complete source of dietary protein. A cup (155 grams) of cooked edamame provides around 18.5 grams of protein. Unlike most plant proteins, they provide all the essential amino acids your body needs, although they are not as high-quality as animal protein.

Edamame may lower cholesterol levels. Some studies found that 50 grams of soy protein per day reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 3%, or that eating 47 grams of soy protein per day can lower total cholesterol levels by 9.3% and the “bad” cholesterol by 12.9%. Though modest, it is unclear if they translate into a lower risk of heart disease. However, the US FDA approves health claims for soy protein in the prevention of heart disease.

Like other beans, edamame does not excessively raise blood sugar levels. It measures very low on the glycemic index, a measure of the extent to which foods raise blood sugar levels. Thus, edamame is suitable for diabetics.

Some studies suggest that a high intake of soybeans and soy products may slightly reduce the risk of breast cancer, as well as menopausal symptoms. They also indicate that a high intake of isoflavone-rich foods early in life may protect against breast cancer later in life and against prostate cancer in men.

Due to edamame’s multiple health-giving components, ease of preparation, and appetizing taste, edamame beans are a popular appetizer or snack food.

I Love Sushi on Lake Union Seattle

When you’re dining Japanese in Seattle, come by I Love Sushi on Lake Union and enjoy our classics. But first, tickle your appetite with edamame soybeans, a health-conscious choice.