6 Drinks Other Than Sake To Pair With Your Sushi Platter
Walk into Benihana or watch people dine at this famed restaurant on TV and you will see them gorging on sushi rolls, sashimi or uramaki while sipping on warm tea or sake, the Japanese rice wine. Dipped in soy sauce with a wasabi garnish for a zingy twist, sushi carries the faint aromas of the salty seas that are wrapped in sticky rice, raw fish and fresh vegetables. This serving of classic Japanese food goes well with sake poured in an ochoko or a ceramic mug held in both hands while drinking this potent beverage.
And while sake and sushi is a classic pairing, there are some other drinks including non-alcoholic teas and flavoured water that go really well with the mild profile of sushi and the flavour packed essence of soya sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi. When you go out for sushi dinner you can go for one of these drinks for a bit of an inventive take on a classic pairing and make your meal a tad fun.
Here are some drinks to pair with sushi made out of different ingredients like salmon, tuna, eel and more:
One of the most comforting drinks that can be devoured with sushi is good quality green tea. The warmth of a stunning brew is a wonderful break for your palate between two mouthfuls of sushi. Its distinct taste and soothing texture also complements rather than overpowering the overall flavour profile of the dish. In fact, green tea preserves the delicate flavourings of a good sushi roll without drowning out its taste, enhancing the overall experience of gorging on this Japanese staple.
Japanese froths like Asahi or kirin are refreshing alternatives to sake when you want to enjoy a drink with your sushi. These Japanese beer variants are good options for highlighting the sweet, delicate notes of fish without overshadowing their flavours. Light beers are good pairings with sushi because their subtle bitter notes form a fine friendship with the soft flavours of seafood.
There are certain sushi rolls that carry a hint of spice and a good riesling is an ideal pairing for such repasts. You can pair a German Riesling packed with sweetness and acidity to counteract the spiciness of sushi rolls made using mayonnaise. The drink also acts as a palate cleanser because of its fruity notes that balance the strong zing of wasabi or raw ginger.
This is a transparent Korean alcoholic beverage, almost like vodka, with a crisper taste and a stronger kick, making for an interesting accompaniment with a sushi platter. Pair a small cup of soju with tuna or salmon sushi rolls to bring about a balance in flavours and enjoy the mild profiles of the beverage coupled with the subtle yet zesty textures of the sushi.
Any sparkling wine would do a neat trick of complementing a sushi meal but a good bubbly adds just that hint of celebration to the feast. Like a good riesling, champagne too is quite a potent vehicle to bring out the oceany, salty flavours in the seafood that makes for delicious sushi. Make sure you go for a quality bottle of sparkling champagne to pair with a shrimp or crab meat sushi to bring out the sweetness of the crustaceans.
Sushi is often paired with drinks that are high in acidic content to highlight the sweet flavours of the fish rolled into nori and rice. One of the simplest ways to introduce this acidity and zest into a Japanese-themed meal is to serve citrus infused water packed with a slight lemony or orangey tang. You can also serve cucumber-infused water with sushi for its vibrant and hydrating qualities which go well with the umami flavours in tuna or salmon rolls.