Shochu and food pairing

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Let’s ask an expert for fun, delicious ways to enjoy shochu, flavor profiles useful for selecting a label, and food that complements shochu.

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  • Discover your favorite shochu
  • Shochu and
    food pairing

Shochu pairs well with spicy recipes using seasonings such as garlic, and oily food like deep-fried dishes and sautéed meat. Even sashimi is best marinated or garnished with a marinade. Since Tokyo Shimazake is produced on islands surrounded by the sea, it has a complex flavor that hints at salt and minerals, and matches relatively heavily seasoned dishes. The best accompaniments are ingredients and serving styles unique to the islands, such as island chili pepper, island miso, garlic, sashimi dipped in soy sauce-based island sauce, ashitaba leaf tempura, and kusaya (dried, fermented fish). If you aren’t too big on the distinct odor of kusaya, try sprinkling the delicacy with lemon or other citrus juice and camellia oil. Any dish flavored with a seasoning made on the islands, such as chili pepper marinated in soy sauce or vinegar, and chili pepper paste, is a good match with Tokyo Shimazake.

Dishes recommended by a restaurateur specializing in Tokyo-made liquor and food ingredients

Carpaccio of splendid alfonsino, with guava sauce

Ingredients (serves two)

  • 8 slices splendid alfonsino sashimi
  • 2 stalks potherb mustard, 2 cherry tomatoes, salt for seasoning


  • 2 tbsp Ogasawara guava juice
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp camellia oil (may be substituted with olive oil)


  • 1) Arrange the splendid alfonsino sashimi on a plate and season evenly with salt
  • 2) Mix dressing ingredients and pour over the sashimi
  • 3) Top with potherb mustard and cherry tomatoes

Ashitaba plant and Tokyo-X pork pan-fried in island sauce

Ingredients (serves two)

  • 100 g ashitaba plant
  • 100 g Tokyo-X pork (may be substituted with ordinary pork)
  • 2 tbsp Aogashima island sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil


  • 1) Boil the ashitaba plant for 2 min. and chop into 3 cm pieces
  • 2) Chop the pork into bite-size pieces, pan-fry with the ashitaba in sesame oil, and season with the island sauce
    * As a substitute for island sauce
    Mix 4 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp miso, plus chili pepper powder, grated ginger, and grated garlic for seasoning

Katsuhiko Sato

Katsuhiko Sato is owner of Oshiage Yoshikatsu (5-10-2 Narihira, Sumida-ku), a monjayaki pancake restaurant specializing in Tokyo-sourced ingredients. Sato stocks every brand of sake and shochu made in Tokyo, and zips through the city every day to procure Edo-Tokyo vegetables. He has authored Edo-Tokyo Vegetables and earned numerous food-related qualifications including master of sake, sake sommelier, shochu adviser, and junior vegetable sommelier.

Top 5 sake accompaniments and seasonings

Tokyo-made sake is best paired with Tokyo-made food. This section presents popular accompaniments and specialty seasonings from the Izu and Ogasawara islands, available at Tokyo Ai Land.

Top 5 sake accompaniments

Top 5 seasonings