Sake pairing, it is easier than you think

Sake Food Pairings

I am sure as a sake lover, you might be thinking about what kind of food would pair the best with some of your favourite Japanese Sake. Some of the common sake pairing (or drinking) food would include tatami iwashi (baby sardines), fugu mirin boshi (dried pufferfish), eihire (stingray fin) as well as all sorts of fried food and yakitori. But did you know that different types of sake pairs better with certain types of food? Let us give you a quick and simple sake pairing guide. Do note that different people have different tastes and this serves as a general guide. Check out our previous sake guide to learn more about the different types of sake too.

Makoto-Ya | Sake Food Pairings

Junmai Daiginjyo/ Ginjyo

Junmai daiginjyo and junmai ginjyo generally have a softer finish. It’s acidic, floral and dry finish allows it to complement lighter tasting food as such it balances the textures of sashimi well, especially for fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.

Try also: Chinese-style steamed fish, oysters and vegetable dishes.


Junmai sake has a rich, full-bodied flavour and is typically high in acidity and umami. As such, junmai sake pairs well with a well-loved Japanese food in Singapore – sushi. Junmai sake’s solid and clean profile brings out the rich flavours of both the fish and the fragrance of rice.

Try also: risotto, dumplings or pizza


With added brewer’s alcohol, honjyozo has a certain level of acidity and umami with a clean taste. Warming honjyozo sake helps to bring out the aroma and flavours as such the light and smooth finish of Honjyozo sake pairs very well with all types of Japanese cuisine. Pairs especially well with dishes with a strong, lingering taste like kushikatsu (deep fried skewers), unagi or Takoyaki.

Try also: pan-seared salmon with butter and seafood like cockles.


Known to be the sweetest sake of all, nigori sake can be sweet and rich, and its full-bodied taste pairs well with food that are also rich and well-seasoned, such as yakitori and soy-based dishes.

Try also: Korean BBQ, Mala or truffle fries

Sake is so versatile and enjoyable that it is regrettable to only try it with one type of food. Sake at different temperatures can also be enjoyed and paired with a different kind of food, do not let this guide hold you back from trying out different combinations. Do let us know if you have any sake pairing ideas or need some recommendations, we would love to help. Kanpai!

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