• Sake Buddha

The Time I Tried Hirezake


Hiroshige A Shoal of Fishes Fugu and Yellowtail

On New Years Eve I was sipping on some warm sake and watching Japanese TV with my wife, a show called Mujinto 0 Yen Life. It is a show where they take some Japanese celebrities and put them on a remote island, and they must find and catch their own food. It is a fantastic show in my opinion. It is neat to see how the catch the fish and then prepare it there on the island.

Seeing the fish swim around made me think about the time my wife, and her family, took me to eat fugu (Japanese Pufferfish) back in 2006. It was a fun event. We ate some fugu sashimi and had tetchiri. The food was amazing, and I had a full belly. Near the end of the meal they asked me if I wanted some sake. I thought it would be nice to sip on some sake as I finished eating. I thought it was a great way to end this experience.

The waitress brought over a glass bowl with a glass lid on it. It was not like any other sake cup I have ever seen. The waitress put it on the table in front of me and then my wife removed the lid and told me to try it. I looked down and what did I see? I saw a fin in my sake. I looked at my wife confused and wondering why it was in there. I picked it up and took a sip. It was surprisingly fantastic. I continued to sip it. It was smooth. You could taste the sake, but you can also taste a hint of the fish.

If I didn’t know it sake in the cup, I would have thought it was a soup. It was mellow, kind of smoky (possibly due to light searing of the fin), and went down incredibly smooth. I was instantly hooked. I asked what it was called, and she said, “hirezake” or fin sake. It

It was a special treat and a great memory with my family. I wish fugu fins were more abundant around me so I could have it again. If you have an opportunity to try it, please do. You won’t regret it.

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