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Sake: How long will keep + your favorite drink/food recipes

arielleeve Jan 8, 2014 08:52 AM

So I bought a $10 bottle of Sake from the Trader Joe's wine store this week, to use in the Nobu miso-marinated black cod recipe (it was fantastic). It was actually my first time buying or cooking with Sake, which I don't particularly enjoy drinking straight up. I only used 1/4 cup and the rest of the bottle is now in my fridge. So my questions are:

1) How long will it last in the fridge? I guess there might be two answers depending if I want to use it just for cooking or for drinking.

2) What are you favorite recipes that use Sake, if I need to finish up the bottle quickly? I've found a ton of Asian fish/seafood recipes that call for it, but was hoping for something a little different as I've been eating a lot of that kind of dish lately. Also, most of those recipes only call for a few tablespoons of sake, and I have a whole bottle to get through in what I'm guessing is a fairly short period of time before it goes bad (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm open to anything vegetarian/pescetarian, as well as mixed drink recipes. I don't like sake straight up, but I probably wouldn't mind it in mixed drinks of some sort. I'm thinking a cocktail might be a better way to use a lot of it up.

  1. a
    Alan408 Jan 8, 2014 09:03 AM

    At a sake tasting, they said sake should not be aged and once opened should be consumed within hours

    So based on that, you now have cooking sake.

    At a tasting they served some cold over ice and some warmed

    1. s
      sweetpotater Jan 8, 2014 09:09 AM

      Make sukiyaki. The broth can take a lot of sake.

      1. t
        tastesgoodwhatisit Jan 8, 2014 06:26 PM

        We keep cooking sake at room temperature indefinitely - although usually not more than 3-4 months in practice. This is the $6 stuff from 7-11, so not high quality.

        My experience is that cheaper sake is more likely to be drunk warmed, but the good stuff is usually served chilled.

        One of my favourite sake based recipes is Okinawan style braised pork belly. I do it in the slow cooker - stove top should work too.

        Strips of pork belly (in Chinese stores it's often sold in what looks like 2.5 cm /1" or so thick strips of bacon), about a pound or two (500 g to 1 kg). I usually do two strips, which will feed about 3 people.

        Put in the slow cooker with 1 cup sake, 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (the darker the better), 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 green onions (whole) and about 5 cm/2" chunk of ginger, cut into slices. If needed, add enough water to cover the meat.

        Cook on low for about 10 hours - this is one slow cooker dish that's really hard to over cook. I like to do it over night, and chill it during the day, so I can remove the rendered fat. Then I fish out the meat, cut into chunks and remove the skin, and finish in a frying pan with about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, to get the nice glazed coating. On the stove, cook about least 3-4 hours on a low simmer.

        You get an amazing sticky glaze and a deep, rich flavour, and after the long cooking much of the fat has rendered out, and what is left has the consistency of butter (and is delicious. really delicious). Serve with rice.

        1. Ttrockwood Jan 8, 2014 06:44 PM

          You can make saketinis! I buy a can of lychees in juice and use that, be sure to put a lychee or two in the bottom of the glass:

          Of course you can swap in whatever your favorite juice is instead.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ttrockwood
            letsindulge Jan 18, 2014 07:06 PM

            Yummy...right up my alley. Will pull out my refrigerated junmai sake, and rarely used lychee, and ginger liqueurs tonight! Kampai!

          2. JungMann Jan 9, 2014 10:41 AM

            I don't actually like to drink sake, but I always have a bottle of junmai sake on hand for nabemono, Japanese stews. I do use a couple tablespoons here and there for a fish soup called oden, but you can use a good portion of your bottle if you make sukiyaki.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JungMann
              Bkeats Jan 9, 2014 11:35 AM

              You may not like sake if you've only tried junmai. Junmai is the stuff you drink if the goal is to get drunk. Drink ginjo or daiginjo for flavor. Never hot, only chilled too. On the other hand, you might not like sake which is ok.

              1. re: Bkeats
                JungMann Jan 9, 2014 01:43 PM

                Well, actually I have to admit that I like nigorizake, but that is basically like drinking rice pudding. I'll give your recommendations a try; I've always preferred cold sake over hot.

                1. re: Bkeats
                  Tripeler Jan 18, 2014 04:43 PM

                  Bkeats: I really disagree with your comment. "Junmai" refers to the fact that only rice is used, and no distilled alcohol is added.
                  As such, there are "junmai ginjo" and "junmai daiginjo" varieties. The "ginjo" designation means that the rice has been further polished to a greater degree, and that alcohol has been added, usually to boost the aroma. In any case, I have had all varieties of "junmai" which would be indistinguishable from "ginjo" varieties for most all drinkers.

              2. w
                wattacetti Jan 9, 2014 11:14 AM

                You should learn to drink sake straight because it's a very nuanced product. This specific bottle isn't, but better ones are.

                You can look up Hiroyuki on eGullet, who made a whole range of base sauces for Japanese cuisine using different ratios of sake, mirin, dashi and/or soy.

                Sake can also be used as the steaming liquid for asari clams and other shellfish as well as fish and poultry. Also a component in some tare recipes should you want to be doing some charcoil grilling action,

                1. b
                  Bkeats Jan 9, 2014 11:36 AM

                  Use sake whenever you would need a white wine in cooking. Marinades, deglazing, etc.

                  1. meatn3 Jan 9, 2014 12:13 PM

                    Clams steamed in sake (A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider) uses 1.5 cups of sake and is a quick delicious dish!


                    1. Chemicalkinetics Jan 9, 2014 12:43 PM

                      For cooking, you should able to store for at least a year if not two.

                      1. t
                        travelerjjm Jan 9, 2014 01:10 PM

                        Remember that sake is a beer so it oxidizes quickly. That's why Alan408 suggested it should be drunk quickly. You can use one of those canned nitrogen preservers to keep it sort of fresh, but at $10 I wouldn't worry -- just use it in a few days for maximum flavor. I've seen some used in cooking after many months, though.

                        I use sake in some Japanese marinades. If you add some sugar to the recipe, it works as a Mirin replacement. I have also used it with soy or ponzu as a dipping sauce. Check google for sake cocktails. If you don't like it plain there are some reasonable sake cocktails.

                        1. samsaulavi Jan 25, 2014 10:27 AM

                          I've been making homemade teriyaki sauce for years and my family will eat no other. It is almost as easy as opening a bottle. I store it in a jar or Good Seasons cruet. The recipe is from a 1976 cookbook:

                          1 c. soy sauce
                          1/4 c. SAKE, mirin or sherry
                          5 T sugar
                          2 cloves garlic, minced
                          1 teaspoon grated ginger root

                          Blend all ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. ( I find it is best after a day or so, so the flavors come together.)

                          Do not save used as a marinade and has meat juices in it. Otherwise, the teriyaki sauce stores well in the fridge for a long time.
                          I peel fresh ginger and store it in sherry, it lasts a very long time. I also have an inexpensive ceramic ginger grater that works very well. (Chowhound has had lively debate on storing ginger. I've been using my method for over twenty year with great success.)
                          I use teriyaki sauce as a meat/fish marinade; with ground beef for the kids; in stir fry and more. No limits to its use.

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