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6 Delicious 7-ELEVEN Drinking Snacks According to a Japanese Sake Lover

Drinking Japanese sake often gives one a craving for salty treats and snacks. This article offers a selection of snacks and deli dishes available at 7-ELEVEN that go perfectly with Japanese sake.

1. Jagabee Butter Soy Sauce / 139 JPY (incl. tax)

Jagabee is a snack made from whole potatoes cut into sticks. It clearly retains the flavor of potatoes, with a slight aroma of the skin that makes it a favorite of mine. With the rich taste of butter and savory fragrance of soy sauce, it is a snack that is hard to put down and goes perfectly with Japanese sake!

Potatoes with butter is a popular accompaniment to Japanese sake in Japan, so it's no wonder that the rich butter flavor of this Jagabee will also make the drinks flow. Jagabee goes well with junmaishu, such as the one pictured that I bought at 7-ELEVEN. This particular brew is distinguished by the rich aroma of rice it carries.

1. Jagabee Butter Soy Sauce / 139 JPY (incl. tax)

2. Spice Chicken / 203 JPY (incl. tax)

Chicken is a popular snack to have with beer, but it actually goes perfectly with Japanese sake as well. The 7-ELEVEN Spice Chicken is distinguished by its thickness and its herby, spicy flavor. The batter is light and has an enticing texture.

The 7-ELEVEN Spice Chicken has a strong flavor, so it goes particularly well with aromatic Japanese sake. I paired it with junmaishu which is made just with rice, koji, and water, but it would also complement a super crisp and rich Japanese sake made using the kimoto* method of fermentation or yamahai* method which creates deep umami flavors and sharp acidity.

※Kimoto: Hand-making the yeast starter for the fermentation of Japanese sake.
※Yamahai: Cultivating the lactic-acid bacilli for making Japanese sake without crushing the rice and koji.

3. Roasted Mackerel / 300 JPY (incl. tax)

This item is made with mackerel fillets that have been marinated in salt and later in vinegar, then thickly sliced and grilled skin-side down. What's more, the mackerel is a special brand-name mackerel called "Kinka," caught in the ocean near Mt. Kinka in Miyagi Prefecture!

The fatty flavors and the aroma of the charred skin give a luxurious feel to this grilled mackerel. This product comes with soy sauce and wasabi. The punchy wasabi enhances the mackerel’s umami flavors.

I enjoyed the mackerel with junmaishu, but it would also go well with regular Japanese sake with understated aromas, as well as honjozo sake. These types of Japanese sake also pair well with carpaccio and marinated foods.

4. Deep-Fried Eggplant in Japanese Broth / 235 JPY (incl. tax)

This is a dish made by deep-frying Japanese eggplants (with no batter) and soaking them in Japanese broth flavored with soy sauce and other seasonings. The deep-fried eggplant soaks up the broth, creating a wonderfully melty texture that makes this one of my favorite foods.

This product has a delicate flavor with a light aroma of soy sauce that was added to the broth. I enjoyed it with a dry and fruity ginjoshu. Ratatouille, which is also made with eggplants, goes well with chilled, dry Japanese sake as well, so be sure to give it a try!

5. Beef, Black Pepper / 216 JPY (incl. tax)

This peppered beef has strong flavors of the black pepper it has been liberally seasoned with. It is a convenient item that can be enjoyed on its own, or added as an accent to a variety of different dishes including sandwiches and salads.

This spicy item was paired with chilled, dry ginjoshu. The strong, umami flavors of the ginjoshu held up well to the taste of the beef, making it the perfect accompaniment.

6. Grilled Salmon Marinated in Sweet Miso / 397 JPY (incl. tax)

The salmon is grilled Saikyo-style, which means that it has been marinated in a marinade made primarily with Saikyo miso (a sweet, white miso made in Kyoto). The sweet aroma of the miso cancels out the fishy smell and enhances the umami flavor. The cut used here is the fattiest part of the salmon found on the very underside of the fish and is the best part for enjoying the fish's umami. It is difficult to grill fish prepared Saikyo-style just right, but with this item, all you need to do is warm it up in the microwave.

This dish pairs well with junmaishu, which has clear flavors of rice, as well as with long-matured or aged Japanese sake that goes well with sweet dishes. These Japanese sake are not overpowered by the fatty umami flavors and boost the natural taste of the salmon. They also pair well with smoked salmon.

I was pleasantly surprised to find such an array of professionally prepared snacks at 7-ELEVEN. If you are planning to enjoy Japanese sake at home, why not take a look at your local convenience store and discover your favorite accompaniment?

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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