February 19, 2014

Postcard from Tokyo

by Kayoko Akabori

We made it! After a restless 16 hours of travel — I read this month’s New Yorker (excellent expose on Amazon and its monopoly on the publishing industry) and Vanity Fair (The Hollywood Issue! Rupert Murdoch’s marital betrayal!) cover to cover, whilst listening to Howard Stern — Yoko and I have touched down and are […]

November 18, 2013

Umami Map: Where to Buy Shochu in the Bay Area

by Kayoko Akabori

UPDATED 11/19/13, 8:47pm We get a lot of phone calls about where to buy shochu in the Bay Area. I love talking to people about this — as you know, we are here to spread the shochu gospel here at Umami Mart. So here’s a definitive list of where to go for your shochu needs. […]

July 25, 2013

Event Recap: Shochu Tasting @ 18 Reasons (SF)

by Yoko Kumano

From the refreshing mugi (barley) varieties to musty imo (sweet potato) that demand your full attention, shochus are always the choice of drink for me. I fell in love with shochu while I lived in Tokyo. From oolong-hai‘s to oyuwari imo (sweet potato shochu with hot water), there are many ways to enjoy shochu. Kayoko and I […]

July 16, 2013

Carrot Shochu Pickles

by UM Guest

By Steven Sharafian I spend a fair amount of time making tsukemono (pickles). I focus mostly on quick-pickles that only take a couple of minutes to prep and have a short curing period. This seemed to flow into the idea of pairing carrots with carrot shochu. It’s a pretty simple quick-pickle: peel and section the […]

July 9, 2013

Upcoming Event: Shochu Tasting @ 18 Reasons (SF)

by Kayoko Akabori

Shochu tends to be the drink of choice around here on Umami Mart, but we know that it’s still pretty unfamiliar terrain. Yoko and I firmly believe that there is a place for shochu in the States, but it may take a while to get there. But we’re here to help educate and slowly open […]

March 12, 2013

Kuishinbo: Oba-chan’s Shochu Kumquats

by Yuki HD

When we were little we used to watch my oba-chan (grandmother) make this seasonal treat from Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. We were too little to enjoy it at first, but as we grew older the dish became more and more delicious. Oba-chan’s preparation differed from the original recipe in that she substituted shochu for […]

September 14, 2012

Upcoming Event: Sip + Shop: Shochu Tasting

by Kayoko Akabori

Throughout the years, we’ve been asked to present more events highlighting shochu. Well, here’s the event that you’ve all been waiting for! Generously sponsored by Takara, we’ll be tasting four different kinds of shochu: imo (sweet potato), mugi (barley), kome (rice) and soba (buckwheat). WHEN: Thursday 9/20 from 6-8pm WHERE: Umami Mart 815 Broadway Oakland, Pop-Up […]

May 24, 2012

Tokyo JUNKtion: The World Famous Awamori Wasabi-wari

by Yoko Kumano

I want Washio’s Awamori Wasabi-wari to be world famous, so I’ve gone ahead and named it “The World Famous Awamori Wasabi-wari.” It’s been out there on the WORLD wide web for over three years now, so I think it has earned its title. I caught the making of the world famous Awamori Wasabi-wari on tape […]

February 15, 2012

Sobayuwari (Shochu + Hot Soba Water)

by Shizuka Wakashita

By Shizuka Wakashita What do you drink when you go to a soba place? Beer? Sake? Shochu? I thought sake but I was wrong. I was converted into a sake lover about three years ago. Ever since then I almost always order sake when I go out for Japanese food, except for the occasions when I […]

January 13, 2012

Shochu Stop: Oyuwari

by Washi Washino

Happy new year! How did you spend your new year’s day? The start of my new year was the worst. On new year’s eve, I was at my a party in SF and drank many whisky cocktails that my friend made. I enjoyed the cocktail and the party, and then went to the BART (the […]