The Delicious Relationship between Edomae Sushi and Sake

The Delicious Relationship between Edomae Sushi and Sake

Do you know what Edomae Sushi is? Yes, it’s Sushi, but it is “Edomae” Sushi.
Edomae-zushi is a type of sushi that uses techniques developed during the Edo period for making sushi. In this article, we will explain how to match such Edomae Sushi with Sake.

What is Edomae Sushi?

Edomae-zushi is sushi made from seafood caught in Tokyo Bay (formerly known as Edo Bay).

The technique began in the Edo period (1603-1867), and the style was established as nigirizushi, which has been handed down to this day. Nigirizushi, which originated in Tokyo, is said to have been a kind of fast food that could be eaten quickly and easily in this era.

Edomaezushi is characterized by its simple and sophisticated technique using fresh fish. It uses cooking methods that match the type of fish and the season to bring out the optimum flavor and texture. While most sushi is generally made with fresh sushi ingredients (fish fillets) on top of sushi rice, in Edomae-zushi, all sushi ingredients are prepared with what is called “Shigoto (= means adding a little extra technique to the ingredients.)”

“Shigoto” served to enhance preservation, just as vinegar was combined with sushi rice. It is a wisdom that has been passed down since the days when there were no refrigerators.

Examples of “shigoto”

The “zuke/zukemaguro,” e.g., marinating fish in soy sauce, and the “shime/shime saba,” or vinegared mackerel, are techniques that enhance the preservation of fish and deepen its flavor.
Searing techniques are also used to draw out the fat from the fish and add a savory flavor.
These techniques create a taste unique to Edomae Sushi that captivates the eater.

Three Traditional Edomae Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo

Ginza Sukiyabashi Jiro

Description: Sukibayashi Jiro is a three-star Michelin Guide Tokyo sushi restaurant located in Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Owner-chef Jiro Ono's expert skills and carefully selected ingredients are well known, and a documentary titled “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” has been produced. Sukiyabashi Jiro's quality and skill are admired around the world.

Ginza Sushi Arai

Description: Offering traditional Edo-mae sushi with artisanal techniques, Ginza Sushi Arai is known for its carefully selected fresh ingredients and meticulous nigiri. You can enjoy the finest sushi in a relaxing atmosphere full of a sense of luxury.

Sushi Sugita

Description: Sugita is a famous authentic Edomae-zushi restaurant located in Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. The restaurant has an elegant and relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy the best Edomae Sushi and high quality service and atmosphere.


The chemistry between Sushi and Sake

Sushi and sake are well known to go hand in hand. This combination is symbolic of Japanese food culture, as “rice” is the key ingredient in both, and the delicate flavors of both go together beautifully.

First, the main element of sushi, shari (vinegared rice), is characterized by its light sourness and sweetness. This rice serves to enhance the fresh flavors of the seafood. Sake, on the other hand, is characterized by the umami of rice and the complex aroma of fermentation. This umami of rice matches the acidity and sweetness of the rice perfectly, balancing the overall flavor.

The seafood used to make sushi is also important. For example, fatty ingredients such as toro (fatty tuna) and ikura (salmon roe) have a rich flavor that spreads in the mouth. Dry sake washes away the fatty taste and refreshes the aftertaste. Slightly sweet sake goes well with light ingredients such as white fish and shellfish. Sweet sake envelops the delicate flavors of the light ingredients and brings out a deeper taste.

The temperature of sake is also important. Cold sake provides a refreshing taste combined with the coolness of the rice, while warm sake (heated sake) goes well with oily neta and simmered dishes to provide a warm, rich flavor. This allows diners to enjoy the pleasure of selecting the best sake for the season and type of sushi.

In this way, the combination of sushi and sake finds deep understanding and enjoyment in Japanese food culture. By choosing the best sake for each sushi item, the entire meal will be richer and more satisfying.


The combination of Edo-mae sushi and sake is the essence of Japanese food culture. Enjoy these pairings for a deeper taste experience. Enjoy the art of food and have a hearty time.