beer, cider, wine and more from your home kitchen

homebrewed sake: kasuzuke (sake lees pickle)

homebrewed sake: kasuzuke (sake lees pickle)

This is is part seven of a series on making sake at home, part one is here.

I’ve been married to Mr. Small Batch for almost ten years now, and in that time I’ve picked up some instincts about Japanese food. For example, if your leftovers still have some flavour in them, you better Google that and see how people use them. There will be a way.

So, while pressing the rice lees away from our sake, I thought “I bet someone has pickled things in this stuff”, and so it was. Kasuzuke, or sake lees pickle, is a popular way to add flavour to vegetables and fish. A quick surf through YouTube unearthed this delightful instructional video:

How to make sake lees marinade. Apparently the lees can be used for bread and even ice cream!

We made kasuzuke following these instructions with salmon, whole vegetables, and sliced vegetables. The salmon was a particular standout: through salting and pickling in the lees bed, the fish became meatier, more umami, with that slight alcoholic note from the sake. Grilled they caramelised beautifully.

If you’re not making your own sake, you can buy the lees frozen at larger Japanese stores.

Next up: tasting the sake!


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