May 2013

Sake Health - Tamago-Zake For When You Are Sick!

Posted by Beau Timken in 2013, May, Newsletter
True Sake I am a great nurse but a terrible patient. I love trying to make people feel better when they are sick, but hate it when others try to help me. "Go away!" But while under the heavy influence of pneumonia recently I received a lot of emails from friends in the sake industry who all recommend the same remedy to get better - "Tamago-zake." Hmmmm! I have always heard of Tamago-sake, but I have never given it a try. Desperate times call for desperate measures! But wait! That means Tamago-zake is "desperate." No it's not! I was desperate not the egg-sake!

That's right! Basically in a word Tamago-sake means "egg-sake." So what in the hell is egg-sake? Tamago-zake is when you heat up sake (very hot) and add a fresh raw egg to the hot sake. Huh? Yes! Sounds nasty but it is really quite rich and tasty! Some older recipes call for freshly grated ginger as well as the egg. In the midst of my delirium known as pneumonia I went for it. I made my own medicine!

True Sake Personally I greatly enjoy warming Kenbishi Honjozo - which so happens to be my "Beau-Zone" sake for May. It is a rich and savory sake that is smooth and fat and gets very therapeutic when warmed. So off I went to my sake warmer. For a minute I did not know what to serve it in? The o'chokko or small ceramic cup is too small for the egg and sake - plus it would be way too difficult to crack it into such a small cup! Do I crack the egg into the sake warmer? If I had a tokkuri the neck would be far too narrow! Good thing I had an open warmer. Hmmmmm? Finally I decided to get a bigger cup and make the sake hotter.

The taste of the Tamago-zake was very rich and very hearty. It went well on the smooth and hot fluid, but as I drank it only the egg whites mixed with each sip. (On my second foray into Tamago-sake I put the egg in the cup and then used a chopstick to break the yoke so each sip had both egg white and yoke.) True Sake After a bit I had a little warm sake at the bottom of the cup with an egg yoke floating like a ball on a pond. I chugged it! It went down sort of thick and I envisioned Rocky drinking his raw breakfast eggs!

Did it cure me? Nope! Was it tasty? Yes! Would I do it again when I am sick next, which will never happen again? Sure, but I would definitely break the yoke! Is it good in general and would appeal to sake drinkers? Sure! If you like Hira-zake (fugu fin sake) or small dried fish sake then you would like it even more. The egg does mask rather than enhance the flavor of the sake so it's more of an egg sake than a sake with an egg!

Lastly, do not get sick, but if you do please try Tamago-zake! It's the ancient remedy of the sake industry.

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