Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice or barley, with a rich history dating back centuries. However, sake is now enjoyed all around the world.
There are many ways to enjoy sake. You can serve it cold as an appetizer, or you can heat it to improve its flavor.
Sake is traditionally served chilled at room temperature. This makes it ideal for drinking during hot summer days.
But some people prefer to drink their sake warm (see also ‘Do You Drink Sake Warm Or Cold?‘). If you want to heat sake, you can either boil it or microwave it.
In Japan, heating sake is considered a delicacy. The taste of heated sake is said to be smoother and sweeter than cold or room temperature sake. Some people even add spices to their sake to further enhance the flavor.
But what is the best way to heat sake?
There are several methods, such as heating sake in a microwave, over the stove, in a slow cooker, or even a bath, but the two most popular methods are by boiling your sake or microwaving it.
These are the two methods we’re going to walk you through today.
Boiling Your Sake
Boiling is the most common way to heat sake. While you can boil any kind of sake, you do need to be careful when choosing what type of sake you want to boil.
For example, if you want to heat “dewatered” sake, make sure that it contains less than 1% alcohol (or no alcohol). Or, if you would like to heat “sweet” sake, make sure it does not contain too many sugars.
When boiling sake, the main objective is to bring the sake to the correct temperature. The ideal temperature for drinking sake is 40-45 degrees Celsius.
However, if you want to drink warm sake, then you should aim for 50-55 degrees Celsius. This is warmer than regular sake.
If you want to heat sake even further, then you should go for 60-65 degrees Celsius. This is considered hot sake.
As we have already mentioned above there are some types of sake that are better suited for boiling than others.
One such sake is “nama shu”, which means “raw sake”. This type of sake is produced without being filtered. As a result, it contains large amounts of proteins and amino acids.
This makes nama shu suitable for cooking purposes. In addition, it is good for warming up during the wintertime. After all, warm sake in the winter can be just as refreshing as chilled sake in the summer!
Another type of sake that is good for boiling is “mugi kasu”. This is a type of sake that has been distilled twice. As a result, its color turns dark brown.
Mugi kasu is often used for making sake kamaboko (a type of fish cake). It is also used to make sake ice cream.
The last type of sake that is best for boiling is “shochu”. This type of sake is considered a type of whiskey. It is made using barley malt instead of wheat and is very popular in Japan.
Shochu is typically served with food (see also ‘How to Eat Natto‘) and is commonly mixed with green tea. Shochu is also known for its medicinal properties, and it can help to treat coughs and colds.
So while some sake is better suited for boiling than others, there are a few types of sake that taste delicious when boiled.
How To Heat Sake By Boiling
There are five simple steps to boiling sake.
- Place your bottle of sake into boiling water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Boil the sake until it reaches the desired temperature.
- Remove the bottle from the pot.
- Allow the sake to cool down.
Next, let us take a look at how to heat sake in the microwave.
Microwaving Your Sake
This method works best when used with “dewatered sake”. Dewatered sake is sake that has been diluted with water, and is often available at supermarkets.
While boiling sake is an effective way to heat sake, it does have its drawbacks. For example, boiling requires more time and effort. On top of that, you need to watch out for scalding.
The second drawback is the fact that boiling may alter the taste of the sake. When boiling sake kamaboko, the rice grains are exposed to air. As a result, the sake becomes cloudy.
On the other hand, microwaving takes only a few seconds. But it also alters the taste of the sake because it heats the alcohol content.
So which one should you use? Well, we recommend that you try both methods. Then decide which one suits your preferences.
How To Heat Sake By Microwave
There are seven simple steps to microwaving sake.
- Put the sake in a glass or ceramic container.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap.
- Use an oven mitt to hold the container.
- Turn on the microwave oven.
- Wait for about 30 seconds.
- Take out the container and remove the cover.
- Let the sake sit inside the container for another 10 minutes.
Microwaves are great for heating sake because they do not require direct contact between the sake and the stove.
As a result, you will not have to worry about burning your hands while heating the sake. This is a concern with boiling sake, as you could scald yourself.
Microwaving is much safer than other methods of heating sake.
Sake has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries, and while it is best served at room temperature, it is most commonly served chill to beat the heat on hot, summer days.
Heating sake is a less common way to enjoy a famous beverage, but it has its benefits too. It is considered a delicacy in Japan and is a warming drink during the winter months.
Who says you can’t enjoy sake all year round?
You can heat sake in many ways, but we hope our article showed you how easy it is to heat sake up using the two most popular methods – microwaving and boiling!