Okinawa’s Iconic Spirit with Food Pairing
Ryukyu awamori is a famous spirit produced in Okinawa that is made with Thai rice and a unique black koji mould unique to Okinawa. The alcohol content is usually above 25%. Research has shown that ryukyu awamori was first produced in 1470, and is one of Japan’s oldest distilled spirits. A tasting of Ryukyu awamori is not complete without some local appetisers. Today, let’s learn about two of these simple dishes so you can recreate them at home!
#1 With seafood:
Japan Okinawa Fennel and Japan Okinawa Whole Wild Blacktip Grouper can be lightly seasoned for a simple and authentic Okinawan taste.
Japan Okinawa Fennel
The locals believe that the unique aroma of this plant is beneficial for the stomach. The white part of the root can be added to soups, or julienned and stir-fried; the leaves are suitable for making the Okinawan dish of fresh fish in salt.
Japan Okinawa Whole Wild Blacktip Grouper
With a ruddy surface that is covered in dots, this fish is commonly regarded as a high-grading fish among other groupers. With a more tender texture and sweeter taste compared to standard groupers, it is suitable for steaming, braising and grilling.
#2 With tofu:
Use Okinawan tofu to draw out the smoothness of the awamori.
Shoku Kakehashi Smoked Okinawa Tofu Beancurd
Okinawan tofu is aged with koji mould and then smoked. The tofu has a rich soy flavour, mild sweetness and smoky aroma. Suitable for pairing with awamori or red wine, or can be cut into cubes as a salad topping.
Rokkakudo Tofuyou Okinawan Style Fermented Beancurd - Light Red
Momen tofu is mixed in red koji and awamori and then aged. During the Ryukyu Dynasty, it was a secret recipe of the royal palace, and only appeared during important occasions among nobles. It has a cheese-like texture and sea urchin-like flavour, and was known as the “oriental cheese”.
The star: Zuisen Seiryu Awamori Aged Awamori
Awamori blended with aged sake. It has the unique richness and sweetness of aged sake, and can be enjoyed by mixing with hot or cold water.