Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner and I can't tell you how excited we are to be eating our favourite Mid-Autumn goodies, such as salted egg yolk mooncakes, yam paste mooncakes and more!
Did you know that some of your beloved goodies do not just pair well with Chinese tea, it also goes well with Japanese Sake. In this blog, we are going to teach you how to pair sake with your goodies. But everyone has different preferences, so do not be afraid of experimenting to find something else you might like!
Mid Autumn Sake Pairings
Food: Traditional baked mooncakes such as the well-known lotus seed paste mooncakes (with or without salted egg yolk) and traditional mixed nuts
Pairing: Daiginjyo Sake
Delicate and light daiginjyo sake is more refined in taste, with a slightly stronger fruity taste as compared to ginjyo sake, hence it is able to bring out the sweetness of the lotus seed paste mooncakes as well as the savouriness of the salted egg yolks.
We recommend Kiku-Masamune Kimoto Daiginjyo Sake for its signature clean, crisp taste and their dedication towards traditional brewing methods, making it ideal to pair with traditional mooncakes. Its crisp taste cuts the sweet & rich lotus seed paste fantastically, allowing you to devour your favourite mooncakes with ease. Best savoured either at room temperature or chilled.
Snow Skin Mooncakes
Food: Snow skin mooncakes
Pairing: Ginjyo Sake
Snow skin mooncakes are known to be usually fruity and delicate. These non-bake mooncakes are especially popular among younger people. Its soft and chewy texture would pair wonderfully well with ginjyo sake. Ginjyo sake has more expressive aromas of fruit and floral notes, with a softer finish as compared to daiginjyos, allowing it to stand on its own when pairing with sweeter food such as snow skin mooncakes.
Why not give Koshi No Kanbai Tokusen Ginjyo Sake a try, it is a fantastic addition alongside your delectable snow skin mooncakes. Contains both an elegant fragrance and a gentle texture that complements each other well, making it ideal for delicate flavours of the snow skin mooncakes. Best served at room temperature or warm.
Food: Durian Snow Skin Mooncakes
Pairing: Honjyozo Sake
Generally speaking, honjyozo sake tend to be lighter and drier than their junmai counterparts. Pairing with durian mooncakes' stronger aroma, honjozo’s lighter features would interfere less with the aromatic flavours of durian.
We recommend Chitosetsuru Namara Chokara Honjyozo Sake to pair with the creamy texture and bittersweet aftertaste of most durian mooncakes. This dry yet refreshing honjyozo sake would complement the unique taste profile of the durian, elevating your eating experience.
Yam Paste Mooncakes
Food: Yam Paste 'Orh Nee' Mooncakes
Pairing: Karakuchi Sake
Karakuchi sake which means 'dry tasting', is a safe bet for any everyday Japanese meal thanks to its versatility and balance.
We recommend Kikusui Karakuchi Honjyozo Sake for its captivating smoothness and crisp dry finish. Its medium body provides the perfect balance to any cuisine or meal and makes it one of the most popular products in Niigata. Its versatility and balance also make it enjoyable when served at different temperatures, from chilled to room temperature to warm.
Food: Pomelo (and other citrus fruits)
Pairing: Tokubetsu Junmai Sake
One of the must-have fruits during Mid-Autumn Festivals, the pomelo, is a great addition to any mooncake fest. Did you know that the pomelo also contains vitamin C & A, iron, potassium and is high in dietary fibers. Not to mention it is an excellent anti-oxidant.
For pomelos, we recommend pairing it with Okunomatsu Tokubetsu Junmai Sake. This sake carries a fragrant aroma and a pleasantly dry flavour. It is well-structured and medium-bodied, therefore complementing this sweet and sour fruit.
Food: Osmanthus Cake (or jelly)
Pairing: Sparkling Sake
Slightly less common during Mid-Autumn but, nevertheless, as delicious. Osmanthus cake is sweet and has strong floral notes. Making it a delicious treat during the annual moon-viewing. Sparkling sakes are almost always sweeter than your usual sake, therefore they are sometimes also known as a dessert sake.
We recommend pairing your osmanthus cakes with Ozeki Hana Awa Ka Sparkling Sake. Hana Awa Ka is a refreshing, fizzy, low-alcohol sake. Its name translates to ‘sparkling flower’ and this light sake is perfect for desserts like the osmanthus cake.
Not to be missed: Our popular Ozeki Hana Awa Ka Sparking Sake comes in 3 varieties- original, yuzu and peach. Get our Love Bundle (bundle of 3 bottles) and save $8 (U.P. $36).
Still unsure how to pair your sake? We got you covered with some of our curated Mid-Autumn special bundles!
Izakaya Bundle ($53)
Thoughtfully curated by our Sake Sommelier, this mackerel and sake bundle pairs a unique gastronomic experience. The dry Amanoto Junkara Junmai Sake best complements the Mackerel with Shoyu, while the Ozeki Karatamba Nama Chozo Sake matches well to the Steamed Mackerel.
Both mackerels are ready-to-eat but for the best enjoyment, we recommend adding a touch of lime or some seaweed!
Autumn Wishes Bundle ($25)
Autumn Wishes Bundle is our twist on the traditional mid-autumn festival, the Ginrei Gassan Sasara Tsuki Junmai Sake is paired with the Kuriyama Star Tabeyo Cracker Snack. They not only represent the moon and the stars, but also complement each other's flavour.
We are certainly eager to try and pair some of our usual Mid-Autumn treats with Japanese Sake. Do you have go-to favourite sake and mooncake pairing? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, we hope everyone gets to eat loads of their favourite goodies and spend time with your loved ones 🌕✨ Kanpai!