Some recipes I was looking at (Okinawan) use Awamori, but I can't find it. I can find various forms of Japanese vodka (Shochu), and sake. Would Shochu be the closest to Awamori?

EDIT: Was looking at this recipe specifically - Rafute (Okinawan Braised Pork Belly) ラフテ

2 Answers 2


I would say yes, both are distilled rice alcohol.

There might be some differences in the raw (uncooked) alcohol, but if used in a recipe and cooked, the differences will be less.

Curious, what recipes are you looking at ? it might help us find a better alternative if it exists.

  • See edit, in the post it says you can use Sake, but I thought Shochu matched the description better although I never tried either before.
    – erotavlas
    Feb 21, 2021 at 0:13
  • it's rice alcohol., my french takes over sometimes.
    – Max
    Feb 21, 2021 at 11:00

Yes, and in fact awamori is considered a type of shochu in mainland Japan. Most distilled rice wines (even Chinese or Korean) with a higher alcohol content will work (awamori is within the 30%-45% range, so you don't want too low).

The only difference between awamori and other shochu (and other East Asian distilled rice liquors) is that it is made with indica rather than the more common japonica rice. However, when used in a dish, there really isn't a huge difference.

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