Seafood has been an essential part of the Japanese diet since ancient times. It’s one of the first things that comes to mind when people across the globe think of the island nation and its cuisine. And just as much a part of Japan’s cultural heritage is sake, which has also been around for thousands of years. Pairing the two is just natural!
That’s why Tippsy is partnering with online fresh seafood service E-Fish to create the Oyster Sake Set and live virtual tasting experience. Sake enthusiasts will be able to learn about how to perfectly pair the Japanese beverage with high-quality, raw oysters from Casco Bay, Maine.
During the virtual tasting on Feb. 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST, participants will get a professional demonstration of how to shuck fresh oysters and why three featured sake — Sakura Muromachi “Bizen Maboroshi,” Yumetsukiyo “Junmai Daiginjo” and Chiyonosono “Shared Promise.” — are the right match.
“We’ve been talking about it for quite some time,” says E-Fish co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Tedmori. “Hearing about [Tippsy’s] story and how they’ve been able to grow this business has been fun to follow, and we’re excited we can be on the journey with them.”
The sustainable seafood brand has been the fresh seafood retailer for several Michelin star chefs and restaurants, including Jean-Georges, Esca and The Fulton. Unlike other wholesalers, traceability and the well-being of their fishermen are crucial focuses for E-Fish. When the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the restaurant industry in its tracks, Tedmori and his team snapped into action.
“We all hear about how the restaurant industry was impacted by COVID,” Tedmori says, “but the folks that supply the restaurant industry are equally devastated. So overnight, they lost nearly their entire business. We had to figure out how we could keep these fishermen moving. The at-home customer was stuck…wanting to have high quality products that they could no longer get at restaurants, so we started shipping to [them].”
Oysters and other seafood from E-Fish leave the water and arrive at customers’ doorsteps within 48 hours to ensure maximum freshness. As for Tedmori, he loves pairing his raw oysters with sake.
“I really like cold sake,” he says. “One of the things I love about seafood as well as a cold sake is that they tend to be nice and crisp. That’s why I love eating an oyster raw versus cooked, and I find sake to be the same: clean.”
In fact, Tedmori’s sake instincts are spot-on. Light, dry and fruity sake served chilled in a wine glass tends to make the best pairing for raw fish. With its notes of apple and citrus and a palate-cleansing, clean finish, Yumetsukiyo “Junmai Daiginjo” fits the bill.
Sakura Muromachi “Bizen Maboroshi” is similarly fruity, but also offers savory and herbal qualities. It strikes the right balance between refreshing and earthy, and is ideal for raw oysters with fresh scallions. Like the Yumetsukiyo sake, “Bizen Maboroshi” is best served chilled and in a wine glass to open up its expressive flavor — especially when paired with raw seafood. However, it can also be served warm in a medium-to-large sake cup called a “guinomi.”
Chiyonosono Junmai “Shared Promise,” the third sake in the Oyster Sake Set, offers more umami than the other two. While it does possess hints of citrus, it’s the sake’s mineral taste that shines through with this oyster pairing. This, too, is ideally enjoyed chilled in a wine glass. However, you can also try serving at room temperature in a small “ochoko” cup for a lighter, more restrained flavor. If serving warm, use a guinomi.
Taste it all for yourself by ordering the Oyster Sake Set today, and receive an invite to our live virtual tasting event on Feb. 25!