Ideas for Pairing Japanese Food with Drinks

Japanese food comes in a variety of flavors and textures, and as such, it pairs well with many different kinds of drinks. From beer and sake to wine and cocktails, you’re sure to find a drink you love to match with your favorite Japanese foods. This guide will help you make the right selection to go with your meal.


Fried Foods

Most Japanese foods are not fried, but a few popular ones are, including tempura and katsu. Beer is a good pairing for any kind of fried food, and you won’ be disappointed if you pair any kind of fried Japanese food with a light-bodied lager. If you would like to pair your fried food with wine or sake, consider what you would pair with the food underneath the breading or batter. Shrimp and fish pair well with white wines, even when it is fried. Light reds are great for beef or pork that has been fried, while whites or light reds can work for chicken. Stay away from heavier reds, as they may be too rich. For sake, cold, dry sakes are a good pairing.


Grilled Foods

Grilled chicken is very popular in Japanese cooking. If you’d like a white wine, sauvignon blanc is a good pick. For red, go for something light, that won’t overpower the grilled meat.  If your grilled food comes with a sauce, you can opt for fuller-bodied wines. For sake, cold, unfiltered sake is a good option, but you can choose warm sake if you prefer for grilled, sauced foods.



Pair drinks with teppanyaki much as you would in a steakhouse. For steaks, full-bodied reds are a great choice.  Chicken dishes work with a variety of dry whites, as well as some light reds. Beer is a choice that can fit any teppanyaki meal.


House of Genji offers a full cocktail bar plus a beer, wine, and sake menu to pair with Japanese dishes. Do you have questions about our drinks or our menus? Call our Japanese restaurant in San Jose at (408) 453-8120.

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