Japanese Food is Renowned and Appreciated for its Finesse.
The cuisine of Japan is tasty, yet always elegant and subtle.
Fish and other seafood, vegetables, rice, soy and tofu, noodles are the staples in Japan. All are delicately-flavored ingredients that demand to be paired carefully with wine.
Arguably though, white is the most appropriate color of wine for a successful match with Japanese dishes, as at some point or another during a meal, seafood will hit the table.
While a classic elegant still white (like nice Chablis, a white Burgundy, or a Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc) will absolutely work, let’s take a more off the beaten tracks approach and consider a pairing you (and I until recently) may have never considered: Japanese cuisine paired Prosecco.
Japanese Food & Prosecco Wine: Why?
Just think about it!
Prosecco is a lightly perfumed sparkling white wine, throwing subtle amounts of floral and gently citrusy flavors, just enough to complement the flavors of the dishes, never overpowering them.
Its natural acidity will provide further vibrancy to the tasting experience, while the delicate lime/lemon notes will perfectly ‘season’ the wide variety of fish, squid, octopus, eel, or shellfish found in traditional Japanese dishes, from sushi to tempura.
Prosecco may as well offer the advantage in this case, of containing slightly lesser fizziness than other sparkling wines, including Champagne. The contrast in texture and mouthfeel will therefore be lesser when matched with the delicate ingredients.
Japanese Cuisine & Prosecco: Recipes
To give you some practical pairing ideas, and some cooking inspiration too, we have partnered with organic Prosecco maker Corvezzo winery, to bring you some simple yet super tasty and authentic Japanese recipes, that not only LOOK and TASTE good, but also pair deliciously with Prosecco bubbly wine!
TAKOYAKI (octopus balls)
Ingredients (20 Takoyaki):
- 150g of soft wheat flour
- 350ml of Japanese dashi broth -link to recipe on you tube-
- 1 egg
- 1 grated zucchini
- 15 ml soy sauce
- 15 ml Mirin
- 5g salt
- 200g boiled octopus (sliced in pieces)
- 3 chopped green onions
- Takoyaki sauce
- Mix flour with broth homogeneously. Add egg, zucchini, soy sauce, mirin and salt and keep mixing (the mixture must rest in the fridge for 24 hours).
- Warm up the Takoyaki pan.
- Pour the mixture to fill the holes of the pan.
- Drop the octopus, green onions and agedama in each hole.
- Cook at medium heat and use sticks to turn it over (watch a video on You tube to learn the technique). Keep cook until golden brown.
- Place cooked Takoyaki on a plate and pour Mayonnase, Aonori and katsubushi over them.
NIMONO: thick broth with shrimps and artichoke
Ingredients (4 persons):
- 12 shrimps (remove head,legs and shell)
- 4 artichokes
- 800 ml Japanese dashi broth
- 15 ml soy sauce
- 15 ml Mirin
- Two slices of ginger
- 2 spoons of potato starch (dissolved in with two spoons of water)
- Chopped chives
- Cook shrimps in boiling water for 5 minutes and quickly cool them in cold water.
- Clean and cut artichokes in pieces and put them in citrus water for a few minutes.
- Drain artichokes
- Put soy sauce, sake, mirin, artichokes and mirin in a pot. Cook over a high heat until boiling.
- Turn down the heat and cover with Otoshibuta (if you don’t have one, you can make it by following these instructions on geriplates.com)
- Salt nimono
- Slowly add potato starch while mixing
- Put in every cup: artichokes, shrimps and ginger.
- Fill with thick broth and chopped chives
- Previously cooked rice for sushi (20gr for each nigiri)
- Fresh salmon
- Fresh tuna
- Take one table spoon of rice with your hands and shape it like an oval ball.
- Put a little bit of wasabi on it and place over a little slice of fish (tuna or salmon).
- 150 gr_Previously cooked rice for sushi
- 1_nori sheet
- 80g_ Casatella trevigiana or similar cheese
- Wash the radicchio
- Drain the casatella cheese
- Put the nori sheet on the makisu (better if you put an explanation on what it is)
- Put the rice on the middle of the nori sheet and spread it equally almost on the entire sheet, except for the upper margin of 2 cm that has to be left uncovered.
- Put the casatella and radicchio in the center of the layer of rice.
- Using the edge of the makisu start rolling until you reach the end of the nori.
- Remove the makisu and cut the roll in smaller units (6-8 pieces).
Recommended Organic Prosecco Wines
Below are a couple of Prosecco wines I particularly enjoyed, and that also happen to be organic.
The first one, called ‘Shake It’ is a unique one that is refermented in its bottle, and that comes with its lees giving the wine a hazy effect when you shake it, but also bringing burther smoothness and flavors.