Nihonshu and Tsumami: An Audacious Pair

Nihonshu #04


RecipesMaison de Tsuyuki PhotographyJun Hasegawa

Tsumami are served as accompaniments to a glass of sake. Here, we present four original ideas you can try yourself.

Smoked Scallops, Somen with Watercress Pesto, Sainte-Maure Cheese

A nicely chilled ginjo sake will perfectly highlight the rich taste of  Sainte-Maure cheese in this hors-d’oeuvre.

Ingredients for 2 servings

4 scallops, removed from their shells
50 g of somen (thin white noodles)
40 g of Sainte-Maure goat’s cheese
10 ml of shiro dashi
Salt, white pepper
(A) 1/2 bunch of watercress (wild, if possible)
10 basil leaves
1 medium size zucchini
10 ml of olive oil


1. Wash and dry the scallops. Salt lightly and smoke them until they are colored. Take out and cut into slices approximately 3 mm wide.
2. Place the Sainte-Maure in the freezer so that it is easier to grate. Cut around 35 g of cheese into 3 mm chunks.
3. Mix (A). Once the mixture is smooth, add the shiro dashi and increase the speed of the mixer for 10 seconds until you obtain a paste.
4. Boil the somen. After boiling, rinse the noodles under cold running water and drain the water.
5. In a bowl, add (2), (3), and (4). Mix lightly and season with white pepper and salt.
6. Arrange the scallops in the dish and, in the center, form a small heap with (5). Place the slices of cheese on top.

With cooperation from: SAIKAI TOKI

Risotto with Butternut Squash, Corned Beef with Ginger

The marriage of risotto cooked in nihonshu and salted corned beef cooked with ginger makes for a marvelous accompaniment to sake. A lukewarm sake will bring out the texture of this hors d’oeuvre.

Ingredients for 2 servings

150 g of rice for the risotto
50 g of sake for the cooking
Approx. 200 ml of chicken stock
1 shallot
1/2 butternut squash
Olive oil
100 g corned beef or 100 g cooked beef ragoût
15 g of grated ginger
1 clove of garlic
A few chopped chives


1. Chop the shallots. Separate the chunks of corned beef with a fork. Clean the squash and remove seeds.
2. Without draining, cut squash into 4 and place it in the oven at 170°C. Let it soften, but do not let it brown.
3. Prepare the risotto. In a saucepan, add the shallots to the olive oil and pour in the rice. Immediately after the rice becomes transparent, add the sake. Once the rice has completely absorbed the sake, add approximately 50 g of chicken stock. While mixing this in, increase the heat to medium and continue cooking until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Once the rice is aldente, add a little salt.
4. After you have taken the skin off the squash (2), pass it into the mixer, at the same time adding a little water to obtain a purée and salt it.
5. Crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle and add (3) and (4). Salt and pepper to season.
6. Add the corned beef to the risotto with ginger on top and then sprinkle the whole with finely chopped chives.

Marinated and Grilled Mackerel with Black Garlic Purée

This tsumami is perfect for highlighting the fruity notes of a chilled daiginjo. The combination of marinated and grilled mackerel with purée will bring you an unparalleled tasting experience.

Ingredients for 4 servings

1 very fresh mackerel
3 or 4 soup spoons of fine salt
Approximately 300 ml rice vinegar
3 handfuls black garlic or 50 g black garlic purée
2 g powdered gelatin, 1 eggplant
5 g grated ginger, 30 g unsalted butter


1. Cut the mackerel into three. Wash and wipe the pieces.
2. Spread the salt over the base of a container before placing the mackerel in it. Cover it with salt and then place everything in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
3. Wash the mackerel to remove all the salt and wipe it.
4. In a freezer bag, immerse the mackerel in vinegar and then leave in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
5. Take the mackerel out of the vinegar and, without wiping it, roll it in cling wrap. Leave it in the freezer overnight (this kills parasites of the anisakis type).
6. After thawing, remove the skin and fins.
7. Grill the skin with a blowtorch and cut it into strips 1.5 cm wide.
8. Prepare the eggplant purée. After you have grilled the eggplant, remove the skin. Mix. Add butter while the mixture is still warm. Mix well, add ginger and mix again.
9. Prepare the black garlic purée. Hollow out the garlic cloves and fry at 50°C (122°F). Mix the garlic with gelatin dissolved in water in advance.
10. Leave it to rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
11. Arrange on a dish, place the mackerel on top and then cover with eggplant purée.

Oven-Baked Pork in Sake Lees

Nihonshus go perfectly with tsumami that are unexpectedly acid. A lukewarm sake will go perfectly with the acidity of this recipe.

Ingredients for 2 servings

200 g of pork fillet
(A) For the marinade: Mix a little lemon purée with 2 soup spoons of miso, sake lees, mirin (a seasoning based on sake) and sake.


1.Place the pork in a freezer bag with (A). Shake vigorously and expel air from bag. Seal and place in refrigerator for two nights.
2. Cook the meat for around 20 minutes in an oven at 170°C (338°F), without preheating it. When the core of the meat reaches 65°C (149°F), take it out of the oven.

Nihonshu —
#01: Nihonshu: Crafting Sake >
#02: The Last Barrels of Tradition >
#03: How the Sakazuki is Changing >
#04: Nihonshu and Tsumami: An Audacious Pair