How Ryorishu differs from Seishu: Types of Sake

“Seishu (清酒)”, generally known as Japanese sake, is often used in cooking to add a flavor, as well as removing the smell of meat and fish.

As you know, originally, Seishu is an alcoholic beverage made from rice, koji (malted rice), and water, but the sake exclusively used for cooking called “Ryorishu (料理酒: literally cooking sake)” isn’t meant for drinking.

How Ryorishu differs from Seishu or Sake

Ryorishu or Sake meant for Cooking

If a recipe calls for “sake” as a seasoning, both Seishu and Ryorishu actually can meet the aim. But Ryorishu is different in some respects from Seishu.


Like Seishu, Ryorishu is also made with rice, koji, and water. But additionally, to make it unfit for drinking, in many cases, salt is added. 

Ryorishu Ingredients

In fact, this Ryorishu uses “Shokuen (食塩: salt)” as an ingredient and the salt content is over 1.9 percent.

Since the Ryorishu containing salt is unfit for drinking, it isn’t labeled as an alcoholic beverage. So its tax rate is low and the cooking sake is priced cheaper than Seishu. 


As “Seishu (清酒)” translates to “purified sake” and is meant for drinking, in its production process, unneeded miscellaneous tastes and acidity are suppressed.


In contrast, since Ryorishu is mainly used to add umami to the dish, in its production process, those miscellaneous things are left as they are.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 料理酒, )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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