Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

How to use Cooking Sake

Add it to almost anything

When it comes to using cooking sake in food, there really are a multitude of ways to apply this in your food. Cooking sake essentially acts as a robust seasoning in any dish and will add lots of amino acids giving a strong UMAMI flavour as well as loads of health benefits such as antioxidants.


The two key points to remember when cooking with cooking sake is that it will soften meats and fish and add health benefits. When fish and meat are left in cooking sake for long periods of time they become more tender so make sure to include cooking sake in any marinades that you make that for this reason. Another great point is that cooking sake contains many important and useful bacterias for our stomachs. These bacterias help our stomachs to break down food effectively and stay healthy. Why is this? Well itfs because cooking sake contains something that the Japanese refer to as koji. Koji is a steamed rice that has some koji bacteria, and has been inoculated with a fermentation culture, Aspergillus oryzae. This koji is actually in quite a few Japanese ingredients like Miso, Mirin (sugar cooking sake) and Shoyu (soy sauce).. Koji is now famous for its health benefits, as an example, the fermentation of soybeans using koji which is in Miso supposedly increases the level of isoflavones and that is effective for preventing various forms of cancer. It just adds a nice flavour for dishes, improves texture and itfs good for you. What an ingredient!


If youfre concerned about getting drunk from using cooking sake in your dishes then donft be. Any alcohol when heated to boiling point boils off the ethanol (alcohol) in it which means that there ends up being no alcohol so everyone can enjoy it, kids too!


Cooking sake has a lot of amino acids compared to sake so just a little amount will give cooked dishes Umami (the fifth taste sensation) and a rich taste in flavours.


The key for using cooking sake is:

  • Use half the amount of the regular sake amount you use because itfs rich.
  • Try to use it in the earlier point of cooking, for example when marinating chicken you marinate it for a few hours before cooking.

Different ways to use it

It is made for the purpose of cooking so there are many good things about cooking sake compared to normal sake when cooking so you really donft have to use a large amount. Check out the following ideas on usage.


Cooking rice
The next time youfre cooking rice, add a little cooking sake with it, the rice iwll be full and flavoured and will have added health benefits.
Frying - fish and stakes..
Putting cooking sake on meat as it frys helps to soften it and increases its tastiness
Simmering - nimono
When you add cooking sake to simmering water with vegetables, it enables the vegetables to absorb the cooking sake and become delicious!
Adding cooking sake with water and then boiling anything makes it yummier!
If you want to make your bread mixture even softer and yummier with better consistency then add in a little cooking sake.
Deep frying
If you add some cooking sake in with batter or on breadcrumbs it will be crunchy and yummy.



Here is a teriyaki chicken dish using sake you could remember (if you are not going to a sushi shop or Japanese restaurant to try teriyaki chicken ):


Making teriyaki chicken is pretty easy. why not give it a try for your family, itfs fun, a great Japanese dish to try and best of all, itfs good for you!


To start, firstly prepare the ingredients, youfll need 120ml of Japanese soy sauce, 60ml of mirin (sweet cooking sake), 60ml of Japanese cooking sake, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons of white sugar and 400 grams of chicken thighs. You can use any part of the chicken you like but for best results, I recommend the chicken thigh for this dish.


OK, to make it - Get a large bowl and add and mix the mirin, Japanese cooking sakes, sugar, oil and soy sauce. Mix it up well then add in the chicken and stir it around so that all parts of the chicken at covered in the marinade. The next part is easy, just cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge and leave it for at least a couple of hours and for best results leaves it in the fridge overnight to allow maximum absorption of the marinade into the chicken.


Once you're ready to cook the dish, heat up the oven to 180 degrees celsius, lay the chicken onto a tray lined with baking paper (leaving the marinade in the bowl) and pop them in the oven. While the chicken is cooking, keep brushing the chicken with the marinade to ensure the chicken gets lots of flavour and an even, consistent flavour. Keep cooking the chicken until golden brown (cooking times will vary depending on the oven used of course). Once ready, take them out of the oven, allow them to cool then enjoy on their own, with rice, bread or perhaps for the adventurous, try using them is homemade sushi!


Here you go! It is easy to find recipes for Japanese dishes these days on the Internet. So find some and try them. Basically cooking sake is for cooking, the makers are required by the law to add salt and vinegar (2-3%) to the cooking sake to make it undrinkable (then sellers donft have to be licensed to sell alcohol and there is no tax making it cheaper!). Some people donft live sake flavours but using small amounts of cooking sake doesn't give too strong enough a flavour to overpower the flavour of the dish and you get lots of health properties in your dishes!