How to Cook with Sake

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By F&W Editors Posted March 03, 2016

Delicious reasons to stock up on sake.

Sake isn’t the mysterious beverage that it once was. With sake-focused stores cropping up across the country and even wine and liquor stores dedicating shelves to bottles of junmai and ginjo, it’s easy to find great sake to drink at home—especially if you bone up with our expert buying guide. While it’s great to have a few bottles on hand to pair with almost anything from the obvious sushi to the less obvious cheese, sake is also terrific to cook with. Try using it to steam shellfish instead of the usual white wine, to cure fish or even in a marinade for steak. Here, the best recipes to make with sake.

1. Sake-Steamed Clams 
These easy clams are steamed in sake and seasoned with scallions and spicy togarashi.

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2. Sake-Marinated Beef Ribs 
Ribs become ultra-tender after a night marinating in sake.

3. Sake Glazed Tilapia with Enoki Mushrooms 
Flaky tilapia, earthy mushrooms and a bright sake pan sauce come together in this easy but impressive recipe.

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4. Sake-Steamed Mussels with Ginger, Miso and Spinach 
Instead of white wine, these mussels are steamed in sake, which compliments the other Asian flavors.

5. Grilled Swordfish with Miso Sauce 
These simple, Japanese-style swordfish steaks marinate in soy, sake and mirin before grilling.

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6. Steamed Chicken with Scallions and Ginger 
Andrew Zimmern’s take on a classic Malay-style chicken dish is simple but complexly flavored. The chicken gets tons of flavor from a sake-based marinade.

7. Cedar-Planked Salmon with Lemon and Dill 
Curing raw salmon fillets in a combination of salt, sugar, dill and lemon zest for 90 minutes, then soaking them in sake for an hour, gives the fish an exceptionally silky texture and delicate flavor.

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8. Sake-Steamed Halibut with Ginger and Cabbage 
Delicate halibut soaks up sake’s earthy, floral flavors.

9. Strip Loin Steaks with Garlic-Sake Sauce 
The simple Japanese sauce for these juicy steaks is garlicky and intense, with hints of sweet carrot.

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