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Exploring Different Types of Sake

When ordering a drink from the cocktail lounge at your local Japanese restaurant, you may find yourself wondering about the differences between the sake options. If so, you should know that you are not alone and that there are many types of sake available. Read on to learn about a few of the most popular varieties.


When reading sake labels, you may see the word “ seimaibuai” mentioned on the label. Seimaibuai refers to rice milling, a process which polishes away the outer layer of the rice grains to improve the sake’s flavor. Ginjo-shu, which is classified as premium sake, must have 40% of the original rice milled away to give it a seimaibuai value of 60% or lower. Ginjo-shu has an enticing aroma and is typically served cold to preserve the flavor, which is described by many as being light and delicate.


Sake is divided into categories depending on its ingredients. Junmai-shu sake is often referred to as pure rice wine because no distilled alcohol, additional sugars, or extra starches are added. Junmai-shu sake is made from only rice, koji (fermented rice), and water. Traditionally, junmai-shu is made with a seimaibuai of 70% or lower, and it tends to have a more acidic profile than other sakes. Junmai-shu is often served hot and boasts a rich, full flavor.


Honjozo-shu is made from rice, koji, water, and distilled alcohol. In this type of sake, distilled alcohol is often used to balance the flavors of the drink. As with junmai-shu, honjozo-shu has a degree of milling of 70% or better, but it is less potent. Ideally, honjozo-shu is served warm. The added alcohol gives this sake a smooth body and light flavor that can be easily recognized.

At our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, House of Genji features a cocktail lounge and offers a broad range of sake options. For more information about our Japanese steakhouse, please give us a call today at (408) 453-8120.

What Is Dashi?

While ordering at a Japanese restaurant, you may learn that several of the available dishes are made using something called dashi. A simple broth that serves as a cornerstone in Japanese dining, dashi is typically made using water, bonito (fish) flakes, and kombu (dried kelp).

Dashi is used to add flavor to everything from miso soup and vegetables to tofu and fish. Most commonly, this broth serves as the base for clear soups, but it is also used for simmering dishes and poaching eggs. Also, warm dashi is often served alone to provide nutrition and comfort someone who is sick or struggling with poor digestion. Typically, dashi is made by soaking kombu in water overnight or bringing it to a boil. Then, the kombu is removed, and the liquid is simmered with the bonito flakes before being strained.

Are you interested in trying a new Japanese food today? If so, then come and see us at House of Genji. Our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose offers teppanyaki, sushi, soups, and many combo options. Please call (408) 453-8120 to learn more or make your reservation.

Try Something New with a Cocktail Inspired by Cherry Blossoms

Many people like to try new drinks when visiting a Japanese restaurant or cocktail lounge. Hanami is a Japanese tradition of flower viewing as the sakura, or cherry blossoms, open in the spring. Watch this video to see how two cherry blossom-inspired cocktails are made.

The Hanami Bellini Cocktail is a sparkling sake drink that is rich with cherry and lime flavors and features Tanqueray gin. The Sakuratini Cocktail boasts cherry and citrus flavors and includes sake, vodka, and cranberry juice.

At House of Genji, our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose has a cocktail lounge where you can relax and try something new tonight. For more information about our Japanese steakhouse or the cocktails that we offer, please call (408) 453-8120.

Reasons to Try Edamame When You Enjoy Japanese Dining

When you visit a Japanese restaurant, you may notice an option called edamame on the menu. Typically offered as a side dish or appetizer, edamame are young, green soybeans that are harvested before they harden. Edamame have been cultivated in Asian countries for centuries and are popular in Japanese dining. Read on to learn why you should give edamame a try.

Delicious Flavor

Edamame have a soft and slightly crunchy texture after they are boiled, and they boast a tasty, nutty flavor that goes well with a huge variety of dishes. Many people choose to enjoy edamame plain, while seasoning the pods with options like salt, pepper, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic, or ginger are other popular ways to enjoy these beans. Edamame makes a great appetizer while you are waiting for a meal and complements many Japanese dishes.

Source of Fiber

If you’re like many people, then you can benefit from including more fiber in your diet. Including enough fiber in your daily meals can help improve the function of your digestive system, lower bad cholesterol, and make you feel fuller sooner. Eating a cup of edamame provides your body with 4 grams of fiber, so ordering this option when you visit a Japanese restaurant can help support your digestive system function.

Plant-Based Protein

Are you a vegetarian or vegan and constantly find yourself searching for good sources of protein? If so, then look no further than edamame because just half a cup of these young soybeans provides 11 grams of protein. In addition to this, edamame is one of just a handful of sources of plant-based complete proteins, and these beans contain all 9 of the essential amino acids that your body requires.

At House of Genji, we serve sushi, teppanyaki, edamame, and more at our Japanese steakhouse near San Jose. For more information or to make a reservation, please call us today at (408) 453-8120.

Exploring How Japan Celebrates the New Year

Cultures worldwide celebrate the coming of a new year in unique ways. If you love visiting Japanese restaurants and trying traditional dishes, then you may enjoy knowing more about the country’s holiday festivities. Continue reading to learn how Japan celebrates the New Year.


A kadomatsu is a traditional New Year’s decoration that is set up in front of the entrance of a home or building. The purpose of a kadomatsu is to welcome spirits that bring good fortune. These decorations are made of bamboo, which symbolizes prosperity, and pine branches, which represent longevity. Kadomatsu decorations are thought of as temporary living places for visiting gods and are usually burned after January 15 th.


Throughout the month of December, people all over Japan hold parties called bonenkai. These get-togethers are arranged with the purpose of forgetting the unhappy things that occurred over the past 12 months, and to look towards the new year with a sense of hope and renewal.


During the first 3 days of January, many Japanese people eat a collection of traditional New Year’s dishes called osechi-ryori. Each dish, or osechi, is said to hold a special significance. For example, eating beans is said to bring good luck in finances, while fried fish is thought to promote good health. Because using fire is avoided during these days, the dishes are prepared on New Year’s Eve.


The first shrine visit of the new year, called hatsumoude, gives Japanese people the opportunity to start the new year by praying for good health, prosperity, and safety along with a year full of happiness and love. Because eating and drinking are thought to ward off evil, food stalls are set up so shrine visitors can purchase sweets and beverages. People perform hatsumoude starting just after midnight when the new year begins, and for about a week after.

House of Genji features a cocktail lounge and serves delicious Japanese food in San Jose. If you would like to schedule a reservation at our Japanese steakhouse, then please give us a call today at (408) 453-8120.

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