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How Different Types Of Sake Affect The Umami Taste In Fish

Sake has to be one of the most versatile alcoholic beverages in the world. With all of the different types and flavors available, the options in your grasp when it comes to picking a sake are almost endless. 

One thing they all have in common, however, is their synergy with seafood when it comes to umami. Research has shown that sake is much better at enhancing the sensation of umami in our mouths when compared to other alcoholic beverages like white wine.

This is because sake contains an umami compound called glutamic acid that can interact with the umami compound in seafood, called inosinic acid. The two react on our taste buds to boost the effects of umami, and sake plays a large part in supplying the glutamic acid for that burst of flavor. 

Foodbeast and Instagrammer George LaBoda @atlasandmason got to try this out firsthand while visiting Hermanito, a restaurant in Los Angeles, California. There, he met up with sake sommelier Bryan West to sample three different sakes with Hermanito’s Hamachi and Uni Agua Chili Sunomo. Each of the sakes had different properties that affected LaBoda’s perception of umami. 

jfoodo hyaku moku edited

One of the properties discussed was the ability to blend sakes, which was the case for the bottle of Hyaku Moku Alt. 3 from Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing they started with. This blend of Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo has a collection of fruity aromas to it. LaBoda also noted that the sake and seafood together opened up flavors he couldn’t perceive with just the dish on its own.

Another property of sake the pair dove into dealt with the polishing of rice. A higher degree of rice polishing doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher quality of sake. Instead, it refers to the amount of protein left, which means that something less polished has more protein available to create a unique range of umami flavors.

In comparing the final two sakes, a Tokugetsu Junmai Daiginjo from ASAHI-SHUZO SAKE BREWING and a Shirakabegura Tokubetsu Junmai from Shirakabegura Brewery, that difference was made clear. The Asahi-Shuzo sake was a lot more balanced, and even provided a cooling effect, lending itself to the fish. On the other hand, the full, rounded, and savory flavors of the Shirakabegura sake lent to the vegetables, creating unique experiences for both sakes from the same dish. 

None of the above necessarily has to be the “ideal” or “correct” pairing for a dish. If anything, the different qualities of the sakes show that each can provide a unique experience to the meal. However, the one commonality they do have is that synergy when it comes to umami. 

Hermanito’s Hamachi and Uni Agua Chili Sunomo will be available, with the Hyaku Moku Alt. 3 sake to pair with, through the month of December as part of the Unlock Your Palate campaign by JFOODO

You can learn more about the relationship between sake and seafood, as well as other restaurants featuring it, through JFOODO’s website, or by following the hashtags #UnlockYourPalate and #SeafoodAndSake. 

Created in partnership with JFOODO.

Fast Food

Long John Silver’s Just Became ALL YOU CAN EAT This Thanksgiving Week

Fans of Long John Silver’s fast-food style seafood spread will have something to give thanks for this week. The chain announced that during Thanksgiving week, they’ll be offering an All-You-Can-Eat special at participating locations in celebration of the food-filled holiday.

Starting now through Nov. 30, customers can dive into all the fish, chicken, and sides they can eat for about $7.99.

This includes hand-battered wild-caught Alaska Pollock, fried white-meat chicken tenders, fries, coleslaw, and LJS’s famous hush puppies.

Not going to lie, I’d go just for endless hush puppies alone.

Long John Silver’s AYCE special will be from 11am through 7pm until the end of the month. Not all locations will honor this deal, however, so best check this store locator to find out exactly which ones you can hit to get your fried seafood fix.

Fast Food

A Complete List Of U.S. Domino’s Pizza Locations That Still Offer Anchovies

Eight years ago, I tried anchovies for the first time. It was on a Domino’s slice that was paired with Italian sausage, black olives, and a parmesan garlic sauce. Salty, yes, but a taste so phenomenal that my young self would still try to chase such a feeling to this day.

Over the past few years, however, I began to notice that Domino’s locations started to pull the polarizing ingredient from the menu. I found myself having to drive further and further to get a taste of the salted fish.

Frankly, the only way to really find out whether a Domino’s offered anchovy was to either call in or begin building a pizza through the app to see if it was on the list of ingredients.

Wondering if any other anchovy aficionado out there struggled with something similar when the cravings set in, I reached out to Domino’s to see if there was a master list that identified every location that offered the anchovies.

Turns out there was.

Behold, a master list of every Domino’s Pizza location that still offers anchovies. A labor of love for anyone looking to fill their cravings, but don’t know where to look. Enjoy, friends.

Adventures Culture Restaurants

I Shadowed A Fishmonger At The Crack Of Dawn, Here’s What I Learned

“To properly select a quality piece of fish, you have to stand back and look at the bigger picture.”

This mantra was one that stuck to my land-loving soul after following a fishmonger around the seafood markets of Los Angeles.

I parked my car in front of Daikokuya, one of the most prominent ramen houses in Little Tokyo. The yellow street lights shown down on the 4am streets of Downtown Los Angeles. As I waited, I could still see stragglers of the previous night saying their goodbyes to one another.

A black SUV pulls up across the street and my phone rings. It was Liwei Liao, proprietor of The Joint, a unique space in Sherman Oaks, California that blends a specialty coffeehouse with a boutique seafood market. Because of this profession, Liao is a denizen of the world that exists before the dawn.


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Liao is a fishmonger who curates the entire catalog for his seafood boutique every morning before the rest of us even hit that first snooze button.

I step into the passenger seat, my nose taking in the wondrous aroma of the freshly brewed coffee coming from his Thermos. Liao introduces himself and we waste no time setting off to two of his favorite fish markets.

When it comes to picking out fresh seafood, I’m a complete novice. To me, all fish smell kind of the same and I wouldn’t begin to know what to look for when it comes to selecting the freshest possible piece of seafood.

That morning, I painted myself the apprentice and Liao the seafood master.

To provide the best selection for his customers, Liao wakes up every morning around 3am to personally hand-select fresh fish and seafood for The Joint. It wouldn’t seem like it, but the early-morning fishmonger community is a bustling one where sushi chefs and seafood proprietors battle the break of dawn — and each other — to get their hands on the catch of the day first.

“I’m curating fish. I’m picking the best that the market has to offer for that day to be able to offer my customers the best,” he explained. “Most markets, they’re ordering off a list and they’re fulfilling the items that they have to sell. I’m okay with not having salmon because salmon is not good that day.”

There were two spots on our agenda that morning.

Right off Alameda Street, inside a nondescript industrial parked, was Luxe Seafood. Constantly maintained with subzero temperatures, the space housed boxes of imported fish I’ve never even heard of — like a bookstore specializing in rare editions.

Tucked away in the heart of Skid Row, nearly impossible to spot unless you were looking for it, was the International Marine Products warehouse. Both veritable seafood metropolises, fish from all over the world are flown in for restaurateurs and chefs to choose from.

As I gawk at the vibrant display of underwater creatures, Liao gets to work inspecting the daily catch.

His eyes dart from fish to fish. His fingers run across the flesh and fins with expert purpose. All a curious dance of measuring the worthiness of the catch.

Different species of fish have different signs and tells to their freshness and their timing.

“There are certain fish that naturally have cloudy eyes within three or four hours of being packed in ice. That would deter some people but then it’s still super fresh.”

During my morning with Liao, he shared with me some cardinal guidelines to follow while looking for seafood.


Keep an eye out for the extra moisture. Excessive liquid build-up around the fish fillets is an indication of negative things, such as being previously frozen or not fresh.

Another thing Liwei wanted to point out was the shape of the fins. His fingers lightly graze the fins of an albacore tuna.

“Fins are the most delicate part of the fish that will deteriorate first,” he explains. “You always want to pick a fish that is not beat up, that the moment that it’s caught, it’s taken care of.”

The fin is a good indicator whether the fish was cared for, whether
or not it was thrown around and bruised.


“If you can smell the fish without having to put your nose to it, often times this means there’s something fishy going on,” Liao says.

The thing I noticed most during my visit to the Los Angeles fish markets with Liao was how both locations we stopped at didn’t excessively smell like fish. In fact, you would have to be inches away from the seafood to actually breath in the oceanic odor. A true sign of a proper fish market.


“Always select fish that is straight and not bent and/or curved,” says Liao. “Bent fish after rigor mortis could lead to affecting the texture of the fish.”

Liao stresses that in order to properly select a quality piece of fish, you have to stand back and look at the bigger picture.

“There’s always the two things that most people know about,” he says. “Oh look at the eyes, look at the gills. That doesn’t tell you the whole story about the fish. You have to look at the entire fish, the whole anatomy.”

Know the Source

Knowing the farm and the source will identify whether the fish is responsibly farmed, he explained to us, and that farmed fish can be better in quality and often times more sustainable.

“When you see a fish that’s farmed, and it’s got all the right proportions,” Liao points out. “The fins are perfect, the head-to-body ratio is what a salmon should look like, then I know that fish took it’s time to grow. They weren’t pumped with antibiotics or growth hormones or things that may accelerate your growth.”

Urban Myths

You may have heard sayings like: “You shouldn’t buy seafood on certain days, or there is no good seafood on Mondays.”

Other than Sundays (the day fish isn’t typically delivered), or weather permitting, Liao advises there is always something fresh from the market every day. Always ask your local fishmonger what’s best for the day, because the best that day may not be what came in that day.

“Fresh is good, but not always the best.”

Liao also clears up the details about avoiding fish with cloudy eyes.

“There’s many different things that cause cloudy eyes,” he explained to me. “The eyes will turn cloudy naturally when the fish goes bad.”

Usually cloudy eyes means that the fish is not as fresh and that’s what most people hear. That, however, does not reveal the entire story.

“When you look at cloudy eyes, you have to look into the eyes,” he clarified. Liao means that you have to look past the seemingly cloudy surface of the eyeball, and deep into the whole of the fish’s optical apparatus.

There are types of fish that have membranes on the top of their eyes that are used to saltwater. After they are caught, and they’re removed from that salt water environment, their eyes will start clouding.

As Liao drops me back at my car, the street lights are barely turning off as daylight finally breaks. We say our goodbyes, as he invites me to visit The Joint in the near future to enjoy some fresh seafood and a finely brewed cup of coffee. With an unintentional, powerful yawn, I gladly accept his invitation for the near future — eager to test my newfound knowledge of seafood.

Fast Food What's New

Arby’s Serves Up Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich For Lent

Photo courtesy of Arby’s

Arby’s is kicking off the new year hot in preparation for the Lenten season. In a time where fish sandwiches flourish in the fast food market, the popular chain is taking things a step further with an item that’s sure to light a fire in customers’ bellies.

Brand Eating reports that the restaurant is introducing a new Nashville Hot Fish sandwich.

The sandwich boasts a crispy-fried filet of Alaskan Pollock that’s coated with Nashville Hot seasoning. It’s served with shredded iceberg lettuce, a parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, and dill pickles on a sesame seed bun.

For those looking for something a little sweeter to pair with their meat, Arby’s is also offering a version that replaces the sesame bun with a King’s Hawaiian bun.

To coincide with the Nashville sandwich launch, Arby’s is also bringing back their seasonal Crispy Fish Sandwich. Both items will be available presumably until April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday.

Hit-Or-Miss Video

Watch This Vicious Crocodile Fight A Shark Over A Single Fish

In the last few years, we’ve developed a pretty healthy fear of the sea. We’ve seen eels come back to life, denizens of the deep tearing food from each others’ stomachs, and hundreds of spider crabs molting beneath the tides.

A few days ago, a video surfaced on YouTube titled “Crocodile feeding.” If that title wasn’t enough to chill us to the core, what follows sure did

The footage shows a fish being tossed to a crocodile at the Prince Regent River in Western Australia, reports BroBible. An innocuous, albeit terrifying snack. Almost immediately, however, a shark tries to steal the flounder from the hungry reptile. Not one to be disrespected, the crocodile rips into the shark and viciously bites down onto the intruder’s torso.

Check out the bone-tingling video to see the what happens for yourself. Good thing they slowed it down towards the latter half of the video. This was definitely one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” kind of moments.

The only thing we’re not completely sure of from the incident is the fate of that fish.


9 Everyday Foods That Could Kill Your Cat

Owning a pet of any kind brings joy, companionship and most of all — responsibility. So, even if you’re experienced with animals, it’s your job to make sure your felines are healthy and happy. One of the easiest ways to monitor your pet’s well-being is closely monitoring a diet that’s toxin-free in order to keep your furry roommate’s tummy out of harm’s way.

If you’re one of the 85.8 million people that own a cat, then you know it’s not often you have to watch everything that goes into it’s mouth, since cats are generally very fussy eaters. While our claw-equipped fur pillows might express some curiosity every time you make a tuna sandwich — that doesn’t mean you should feel inclined to make two.

With that said, here’s a few of the most common human foods that could actually be fatal to felines. So, take note to ensure that culinary curiosity doesn’t kill your cat.

1. Tuna & Poke

What can it do?

Although poke maybe be delicious, it’s not the best treat for your cat.

Actually, in excess tuna — and other fish—  in general is considered to be borderline unhealthy for cats because tuna doesn’t contain the nutrients cats need for a healthy digestive system.

Too much tuna for cats can lead to malnutrition. Additionally, poke is usually made with freshly squeezed lemon or citrus juice, which can cause vomiting, stomach irritation, and other digestive issues for our feline companions.

2. Fish & Poultry With Bones

What can it do?

Be careful if you feed your cats chicken or fish that might contain bones, as cats can easily choke on them. Fish bones are somewhat flexible, and can easily be consumed by a hungry kitty.

But let’s err on the side of caution here.

3. Alcohol

What can it do?

One teaspoon of alcohol can put a five pound cat into a coma, according to the ASPCA. Cat livers don’t operate as efficiently as the human liver  — which means wine, beer or spirits can cause serious health problems.

So, even if you and your cat are relaxing after a hard day at work, and you feel inclined to pour a little of alcohol into his or her bowl —  don’t.

However, if you feel like your cat just needs to, “wine” about their day of sleeping and watching birds, this cat wine will provide a healthy alternative.


4. Caffeine

@tania_crystal0126 (instagram)

What can it do?

Even small amounts of caffeine can cause rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors in cats.

Caffeine can be found in an array of products — even decaf coffee, teas, and other beverages — without consumer knowledge.

Since caffeine isn’t a nutrient, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require food manufacturers to list caffeine as food nutrition labels.

5. Chocolate

What can it do?

While dogs are more likely to get into a stash of indulgent chocolate before a cat does, it’s still a good idea to keep it out of kitty’s reach.

Theobromine is an alkaloid found in chocolate, which can cause everything from vomiting and diarrhea.

It’s estimated that more than 200 mg of theobromine can also cause cardiac failure.


6. Grapes & Raisins

@bordeauxwinelovers (instagram)

What can it do?

While grapes and raisins might seem like harmless treats for your cat, it’s a silent killer.

However, it’s unknown exactly what compound in grapes and raisins that make the fruit toxic to cats. If ingested, grapes have been known to cause kidney failure in them.

7. Candy, Gum, Toothpaste, or anything with Xylitol

What can it do?

Every diet soda you drink contains Xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in a lot of common foods. However, it will be anything but sweet to your inquisitive cat.

Xylitol can increase in the insulin circulating through your cat’s body, which will cause the cat’s blood sugar to drop, and can also lead to liver failure.

8. Baking Dough

What can it do?

Imagine your cat’s tummy as a tiny oven — if it eats uncooked dough, it will begin to expand inside.

This will obviously result in some discomfort to your four-legged friend, so be sure to keep baking dough out of kitty’s claws and jaws.

9. Raw Meat

What can it do?

Raw meat is never safe to eat due to the harmful bacteria, like salmonella, E. Coli and even listeria — which can cause an array of health issues for humans and their pets.

Always make sure your meat is covered and out of reach, you never know when kitty will hop up on the kitchen counter to investigate.


Dead Tuna Gets Sliced In Half, Then Comes Back To Life [WATCH]

Once you’ve cut into your food, you probably expect it to be dead, but some animals keep the fighting spirit alive, even after death.

A yellowtail tuna was sliced in half, surely getting ready to become someone’s meal, but it wasn’t immediately going on a plate, as it spent almost 2 minutes flailing around like a fish zombie.

The video was posted to Twitter, Wednesday by user Yutaka Suzuki, and it’s pretty freaky, to see the split open tuna swing around on the tray.

This reminds us of an eel in South Korea that was ready to be cooked at a restaurant, but began floundering as soon as it came into contact with the hot grill.

In both cases, neither was alive, obviously, but muscle reflexes were still active.

As long as it’s dead and under control by the time it reaches my table, I’m good with it.