Eat Croquettes on "Croquette Day" with Toraji no Uta
Autumn has finally made its way here in Australia.
There's no better time than today to have some pipping hot comfort food, like, CROQUETTES!
Korokke is a loan word for Croquette in Japanese. The reason why today (6 May) is Croquette Day in Japan is that in Japanese, Five and Six are pronounced as GO and ROKU, respectively. Smarties like you must have got it now.
GO-ROKU sounds just like KOROKKE!
Hmm, won't you feel something's missing if you're just having these titbits alone?
Relax, Toraji no Uta is the best friend of all deep-fried and meat dishes with strong flavours.
Nakano Sake Brewery
It is said that Koji making is the most important step in brewing sake. Nakano Sake Brewery, established in 1844 in Aichi, has its own automatic koji-brewing machines, which are equipped with temperature and humidity control systems, to do the job. Besides, fermentation tanks with specially designed stirrers and automatic filter press machines also contribute to making the most suitable koji for Nakano's many different types of sake.
What is Toraji anyway?
Surprise! "Toraji" IS Korean actually! The same flower is called "kikyo" in Japanese and bellflower or ballon flower in English. It is considered one of the seven autumn flowers (aki no nanakusa) that ushers in cold winter in Japan. Uta (pronounce "wu-ta" not "yu-ta") means folk song, so you can imagine what's inside is as beautiful and poetic as what's outside.
Toraji, means Everlasting Love in floriographic language, is spotted in Melbourne!
Why Toraji then?
One more hint from the name will be the reason why this sake is brewed. According to Nakano Sake Brewery, they would like to brew one nihonshu that is similar to Korean semi-filtered sake, makgeolli, to accompany grilled meat aka yakiniku, which is thought to be rooted in Korea (let's not go too deep into the authenticity of grilled meat here).
What Nakano came up with, is this naturally carbonated semi-filtered sake. The slightly sweet, milky tartness that reminds ones of yoghurt, help balance the saltiness and the robust flavour of meat dishes. Mild carbonated bubbles produced during natural fermentation process, also help clear oiliness.
With an alcohol content of 6%, you can almost enjoy it like a beer, or even alcoholic smoothie! No matter how easy it is to drink, just don't go overboard. The best way to enjoy Toraji no Uta is to serve chilled. Serving at room temperature is still good but on the rocks is not recommended as the delicate flavour will be diluted. Remember to give it a gentle shake before opening as this is a semi-filtered cloudy sake and you sure don't want to miss the sediments at the bottom of the bottle.
It has been really popular among yakiniku restaurants in Japan, so please look out for this beauty on your next trip to the Sake Country.
Try them all! All you need to do is to deep-fry!
(with grape seed oil maybe?)
Some recipes if you feel like cooking…
(Click on the images for recipes)
Curry with Cutlets / TONKATSU (crumbed pork fillet)
Simmered PORK dish(nimono) / Pan-fried Gyoza
Mince Cutlet / Teriyaki Chicken
Grilled Chicken Marinated in Japanese Sweet Peppery Sauce