Otsumami -What Japanese people enjoying Japanese Sake with-


Otsumami -What Japanese people enjoying Japanese Sake with-

In Japan, there are the words “Otsumami”(おつまみ) or “Sake no Sakana”(酒の肴) or “Ate”.

Like peanuts at the bar scene or cheese and wine, there are somethings to eat and enjoy with Sake. This is called Otsumami.

There are varieties of Otsumami and depending on the location and local culture it is different.

This time ikki deliver information about Traditional Otsumami in Japanese Culture.


ikki original otsumami video is available on Sake Monkey YouTube channel below;




Variety of Otsumami

Raw fish – Sashimi

 The most traditional Otsumami is Sashimi the raw fish. In the past, the fresh raw fish was very expensive and valuable. Also, according to the Japanese culture, it can be considered as one of the best combination with Japanese Sake.


Fermented fish

 As not all the people could get raw fish, there is a fermented fish for the purpose of storage as well as making the taste better. There are 2 ways of fermentation, which are dry and wet.


Dry – Himono, Smoke

 In the dry fermentation, himono is one of the example.  To make Himono, fishes are salted and dried in the natural wind.

 In the age of low technology compared to today, Japanese people are making Himono depending on the fish they can catch in their location.


Wet – Shiokara

 One of the example of wet fermentation is Shiokara. There are a lot of fish used in Shiokara, but the most famous one is squid shiokara. Shiokara was a food for fishermans, and they mix the squid with liver of squid.


Tsukemono 漬物 (pickles)

 Tsukemono is also one of the best Otsumami with Japanese Sake and there are varieties of Tsukemono local by local. Ingredients are different, mostly vegetables, , but also they way they make Tsukemono is also different.



Nukaduke uses rice bran, the left-over after  rice polishing, to ferment the ingredients.



Kasuduke is ferment the ingredients with Sake lees. Flavor of Sake and taste mild and sweet.



Use Koji for the fermentation. Less fermentation power, but fresh.



Use salt only. Simply salty taste.



 The famous Tsukemono. Add salt and some sugar to plum. Very sour.


Tsukudani 佃煮

 Tsukudani is also famous food on the table at home. Add soy sauce and sugar to the ingredients and boil down.

 The ingredients can be vegetables, seaweed, meat or fish.



Tofu, bean curd, is the most famous in the past, as it is reasonable and eat in the daily scene.



These Otsumami are the traditional ones, and these days there are a lot of Otsumami as lifestyle changed.


Hope you learnt and enjoyed.

See you in the next article.