Kirin Beer & Maki Sushi Rolls

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.  All opinions are my own.

Today I wanted to share with you a delicious recipe and an adult beverage to go with it!  I had the opportunity to try out 2 different beers by Kirin and decided to make a Japanese inspired dinner as well!

We decided to pair our Kirin beer with Maki Sushi Rolls.  These two complimented each other perfectly.  The mild sweetness of the Kirin beer was able to tone down the taste of the dry seaweed in the sushi rolls without compromising the taste of the dish.

Maki Sushi Rolls
  1. 10-12 sheets toasted nori (seaweed)
  2. 1 1/2 cups sushi rice = 3 cups cooked sushi rice
Sushi-Su (Sushi Vinegar)
  1. 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  2. 3 table spoons sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
Optional Fillers
  1. 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  2. fresh basil, stems removed
  3. 1 cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
  4. carrots, thinly sliced
  5. Japanese kaiware sprouts
  6. Japanese umeboshi plums, seeds
  7. daikon pickles
Optional Proteins
  1. Imitation crabmeat pieces or sticks
  2. smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  3. smoked tofu, thinly sliced
Optional Seasonings
  1. Furikake (Japanese Mrs. Dash)
  2. Toasted sesame seeds
  3. Togarashi
  4. Sriracha hot sauce
  5. Reduced-sodium soy sauce, for dipping
  6. Ponzu Sauce, for dipping
Sushi & Sushi Vinegar
  1. 1) Make your sushi rice. Prepare and cooke the sushi rice as directed on the package. Roughly 2 parts grain, 1 part water ratio. Cool the rice slightly while preparing your sushi vinegar.
  2. 2) In a medium mixing bowl, add the sushi vinegar ingredients. Whisk well to dissolve all the sugar and salt.
  3. 3) Transfer your slightly-cooled sushi rice into a large bowl. Using a rice paddle and a small paper fan, fan the sushi rice as you slowly drizzle the sushi vinegar over the rice. Cut the sushi rice with the rice paddle as you fan the rice to cool at the same time. Be sure not to mix the rice. Simply cut through the rice until all of the sushi vinegar is absorbed.
To Roll the Sushi
  1. 1) Roll you sushi while the rice is still warm. Prep a clean work surface, like a clean cutting board or a clean countertop.
  2. 2) Lay down your bamboo mat on your work surface. Place the nori on top of the bamboo mat, shiny side down.
  3. 3) Using your rice paddle, spread a layer of approximately 1/2 cup sushi rice in the middle of the nori sheet. At the bottom of the sushi roll, closest to you, add your choice of fillers, proteins, and seasonings in a horizontal line. Tightly roll from the bottom up into a long maki roll. Gently squeeze the bamboo mat to tighten your roll.
  4. 4) To cut, remove your bamboo mat, and cut your roll in half. (Wipe off your knife with your towel in between slicing.) Next, line up your two halves and cut into fourths and sixths. Repeat until all the sushi rice is used. Serve immediately.
  5. 5) Dip in your choice of sauces, or just enjoy as is!
Samantha Ray Blog

We have never heard of Kirin beer before trying it out the other day so it was great to try something new!  This beer has a light golden color to it.  It is not a heavy beer so it is a great beer to eat with! Definitely something to look for when picking out beer for dinner!

Being one of the oldest breweries in Japan, Kirin is a brand well known around the world for its beer and their first-press brewing process.  This brewing process creates a pure, clean taste for people to enjoy as they are drinking Kirin beer.



Kirin offers three type of beer in the U.S.:
  • Kirin Ichiban:  A 100% malt, first press beer (Known for it’s brewing process!)
  • Kirin Light: Only 95 calories and pairs well with healthier dishes
  • Kirin Ichiban Frozen:  Draught beer topped with frozen Kirin Ichiban (available at select U.S. locations)

One of the things that I found to be pretty neat was that the “Kirin” identity refers to the mythical Kirin Beast from ancient Asian mythology.  It is considered a good omen and is a symbol of well-being and good fortune.  Another is that Kirin has partnered up with celebrity chef, Candice Kumai, to bring Japanese-style beer to the growing Asian cuisine movement.  Check out Kirin’s facebook page throughout the year to find recipes and pairing tips that Candice Kumai wil be posting.

If you are up to trying out Kirin Ichiban & Kirin Ichiban Light, plan a Japanese inspired dinner with the Maki Sushi Rolls or try other recipes like, Japanese Chicken & Yakisoba Noodles or Homemade Gyoza’s (potstickers).  Make sure you participate in some of these Japanese drinking traditions while dining with friends and family:

  1. Always drink your Kirin from a glass.
  2. Never fill your own glass and you should never let another’s glass get completely empty!
  3. Before taking your first sips of Kirin, make sure everyone else has been served!
  4. When everyone is ready to drink, salute by saying “Kanpai”.


Have you heard of or tried Kirin beer before?  What did you think of it?  If you haven’t, check out Kirin beer on Facebook and their website!

♥ Samantha